RVCC Announces Plans To Reduce Staff At Lebanon, Claremont, Keene Campuses
Adds Focus on Expanding Pathways to High Schools
River Valley Community College has announced personnel reductions across the college’s three locations in Claremont, Lebanon, and Keene. Positions affected include administration, faculty and staff.
The reductions include six layoffs and five positions that are being reduced to part-time. This is out of a total employee headcount of about 200, including full and part-time faculty, staff and administrators. In addition, two grant-funded positions will be impacted with the conclusion of a federal grant.
These changes are driven by budgetary needs but are also designed to sharpen alignment with enrollment and support student pathways, said the college.
Some low-enrolled programs, such an English and Creative Writing, will be phased out or restructured. Other changes are designed to eliminate overlap and ensure that the College is focused on financial sustainability and meeting emerging needs, said the college.
“These changes are very difficult, but necessary,” said Interim President Ali Rafieymehr. “We all understand that our public mission requires that we look at how effectively we are using resources and meeting the most pressing needs of our region and state, within our budgetary means. In recent weeks I have been very open with faculty and staff about communicating the need for these measures, along with my gratitude at the teamwork and commitment to reducing expenses in areas other than personnel. That said, we do not have the enrollment growth to support our current staffing levels.”
Rafieymehr became interim president in January. According to the college, he took “the responsibility of assessing the college’s operational, programmatic and financial position and bringing about financial sustainability within an organization that had not seen the type of reductions several other NH community colleges had seen in recent years, despite similar enrollment trends. He worked with RVCC colleagues to look at programs with low enrollment or that needed to be re-tooled to meet changing needs.”
The assessment also looked at student service and other operational needs, with some changes made to accommodate student schedules or to spread coverage out over a wider range of hours.
“While these measures will result in needed cost savings, they should also result in a better focusing of resources,” Rafieymehr said. “Colleges across the country, of every type, are having to re-tool in response to both internal and external factors, and River Valley is no exception.”