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California University of Pennsylvania plans to furlough 7 administrators, managers

| Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, 11:00 p.m.

California University of Pennsylvania is furloughing seven administrators and managers in what officials called a routine workforce adjustment.

Cal U spokeswoman Christine Kindl said the layoffs, which were announced Jan. 5, are the result of a periodic workforce review by the school. She said no faculty positions are involved in the most recent round of layoffs.

The Washington County university has had its enrollment decline by 17 percent, slipping from 9,483 in 2011 to 7,854 this fall, as the pool of new high school graduates in Western Pennsylvania decreased.

Like the other 13 state-owned universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, Cal U has had to tap its reserves during the prolonged state budget stalemate.

Kindl would not link the furloughs specifically to those factors, but she conceded that financial resources and enrollment are always considerations in any workforce review.

“It's always difficult to make these decisions, but every business needs to review its staffing periodically and make sure you have a balance between what you have and what you need,” Kindl said.

The latest layoffs follow the elimination of 14 non-faculty positions at the school in the 2014-15 school year and six in 2012.

At least one of the pending layoffs has sparked some opposition. Students and graduates have taken to Facebook and Twitter to lobby the university to keep Kay Kutz, assistant director of the Cal U Women's Center, victim advocate and director of its End Violence Center.

“She participated in a lot of programs on campus. The End Violence Center does a lot of outreach and definitely had a big impact,” said Abby Lochran, a December graduate who is lending her support to the online protest.

Kutz could not be reached for comment.

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 412-320-7996 or derdley@tribweb.com

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