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VTSU eliminates 33 full-time positions in second phase of cost-cutting plan

A green sign near a road shows the locations of admissions parking, fine arts center, woodruff hall and visitor parking.
Nina Keck
Castleton is one of the five campuses of Vermont State University.

Vermont State University Friday released the second phase of a cost-cutting plan that includes eliminating 33 full-time employment positions at the newly unified college system.

Mike Smith is VTSU's interim president, and he says the new cost reduction blueprint will help the university get within reach of financial viability by 2027.

Smith says buy-outs have been offered to some faculty and administrators to reduce the need for layoffs.

He also says the university is expanding programs for nursing, and for electrical and plumbing jobs, with a specific goal moving forward.

"That our students will come out of this university with the ability to find good paying jobs, high paying jobs, second of all I want this university to be fiscally stable, and I think we can achieve both of those objectives as we move forward," Smith says.

More from Vermont Edition: Digging into the proposed academic program cuts at Vermont State University

Smith helped put together the strategy prior to his stepping down as president next week. He says enrollment numbers — which were down about 4% this year — will need rise to keep VTSU on track.

"Our estimate is that we need to be about 3.5% on the positive side each year — I'm confident that we can do that — I'm actually hoping that we're above 3.5%, but we took a conservative number of 3.5% moving forward," Smith says.

Smith says the university has expanded classes for nursing, electricians and plumbers while consolidating some liberal arts programs, such as theater.

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A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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