Prescott College Restructures in Changing Nationwide Enrollment Environment
“With these changes, the College remains in good financial health. And I am confident that the changes we are making at Prescott College will enable us to grow enrollments and remain a national leader in experiential education dedicated to the liberal arts, the environment and social justice.”
In line with a nationwide decline in enrollments at private liberal arts colleges, Prescott College has seen a decrease in student numbers over the past three years. Because of the responsibility to maintain financial integrity and sustainability while maintaining the quality of the distinctive curriculum and student experience at Prescott College, Dr. John Van Domelen, President of the College announced that Prescott College is undertaking several significant initiatives including layoffs.
“Unfortunately, this week we have completed the restructuring of the College by implementing a reduction in force which has reduced the number of employees,” said Van Domelen. “These departures are particularly painful given the excellent work these good people have done for Prescott College and our students. Each person whose position is eliminated is receiving a severance package and support in finding future employment.”
Over the past several years, the “right sizing” of the College has required significant reductions in the size of upper administration and middle management, significant sacrifices from all employees, and the elimination of a number of vacant positions this past year according to College officials.
“After several years of declining enrollments, we must now reduce the number of individuals employed by the College,” said Van Domelen. “This is necessary despite the generosity employees have shared with each other in our efforts to avoid reductions in force in recent years. Our community's approach has been to share the burden of shrinking revenues in the hope the downturn in enrollment would be temporary. This generosity was meant to be short term but unfortunately has persisted for too long. Therefore, for the coming budget year furlough days and retirement benefits will be restored.”
The restructuring of the College enables not only the restoration of full compensation and benefits for employees, but also investments in marketing and new curricular initiatives to reverse downward enrollment trends according to College officials.
“While this sort of institutional change is challenging, colleges and universities nationwide are in a rapidly changing environment and must adapt without losing sight of our mission,” said Van Domelen. “With these changes, the College remains in good financial health. And I am confident that the changes we are making at Prescott College will enable us to grow enrollments and remain a national leader in experiential education dedicated to the liberal arts, the environment and social justice.”