Ten Juniata College employees are without jobs after being let go Thursday.
It’s probably one of the toughest things we’ve had to do, at least in my tenure of six years,” said Juniata College President James Troha.
The layoffs came about as a result of financial pressures.
“Enrollment is down slightly, but it has more to do with the higher price sensitivity of our families. We have had to subsidize the experience for both our students and families. So more so than enrollment is the broader affordability question that families have to face today,” said Troha. “Secondarily, we’ve seen a pretty large cost increase to the college around healthcare.”
The employees were administrative staff.
“It’s just a hard thing to have to work through, but we’ve been dealing with it. It’s affected departments across the board. We’ve been realigning the revenues we have available with our expenditures. We’ve been working on that for several years, actually.
Juniata College is one of the top employers in Huntingdon and like other colleges, it’s being forced to adapt.
“We continue to work at this. Like so many colleges across the country, we’re working to become a more efficient organizations. It’s a really tough environment right now in higher education,” said Troha.
The higher education industry isn’t getting any easier.
“You have to work harder to get them to our doors and at the same time they’re asking for more, so we’re trying to put more on the table,” he said.
Ultimately, tough decisions have to be made.
“At the end of the day, our students are the center of what we do. All of our decisions revolve around what’s best for them,” said Troha.
Nathan can be reached at email@example.com.