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New Jersey City University goes through massive layoffs

The university will undergo a 37 percent reduction in its Academic Portfolio or academic standing resulting in "48 undergraduate programs, 24 minors, 28 graduate programs, 10 certificate programs, and one doctoral program."

NJCU announced 37 percent reduction in their Academic Portfolio Photo Courtesy Mark Kossau

New Jersey City University (NJCU) announced last week a significant downsizing in its academic portfolio as a result of combating a financial crisis, according to a statement made by the university’s Board of Trustees in June.

“Today’s announcement is a difficult but necessary next step towards the long-term sustainability of the university mission,” said Joseph Scott, NJCU Board of Trustees chair. “Our current financial crisis has made clear that the breadth of our current academic portfolio is no longer tenable for the size of an institution we need to be and the low enrollment in many courses can be linked to students’ inability to complete their degrees in a timely manner.”

The university will undergo a 37 percent reduction in its Academic Portfolio or academic standing resulting in “48 undergraduate programs, 24 minors, 28 graduate programs, 10 certificate programs, and one doctoral program.”

In addition, several other programs, according to members familiar with the matter, were scheduled for disclosure in the 2023-2024 academic year listed here.

The university’s downsizing will be seen reflected in its staff, as it projects up to 30 tenured faculty will receive notice that their position may be eliminated as of June 28, 2023. “It’s all based on what programs are being phased out,” said Ira Thor, a university’ spokesperson. “That is where faculty will be impacted.”

He said the university might not fully remove 30 tenure position professors, “we’re hopeful that the conditions may improve,” said Thor.

Additionally, the university will not renew the contracts of up to 19 non-tenured annually appointed faculty and some professional staff for the 2023-24 academic year.

Students who are enrolled in programs that are listed under the “scheduled closure” will be able to complete their programs and graduate.

“To reach today’s decision, the academic deans of each of NJCU’s four colleges — the College of Arts and Sciences, the NJCU School of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Professional Studies — in collaboration with the acting provost, worked to identify which programs to reduce by focusing on the NJCU’s vital role as a minority serving institution and weighing the viability of programs according to mission, market, and margins,” read the university’s statement.

According to the university’s site NJCU entered “Fiscal Year 2023 with a structural deficit of more than $20 million and the reduction in its academic portfolio is a crucial step towards the university’s need to reach budget neutrality by June 30, 2023. Previous measures already implemented include a 41 percent reduction in the management-level workforce at the university since the pandemic — from 125 to 73 — highlighted by a reorganization of the senior administration and leadership announced on November 14, and the elimination of five athletic sports programs announced on December 7.”

“I thank our academic leadership for their data-driven, painstaking work in determining which programs were mission critical and mission consistent, so our remaining resources can be allocated towards ensuring the strength of these academic offerings,” said Joseph Scott, NJCU Board of Trustee.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Jordan Coll can be reached at jcoll@hudsonreporter.com.

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