Exclusive: SOU Laying Off Staff, Students to pay more

, Posted: Thu, March 29 2012 at 4:58 PM, Updated: Thu, March 29 2012 at 5:16 PM

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For at least 2 years now, Southern Oregon University (SOU) has been riding high on record enrollment.

Last year, more than 6,700students enrolled at SOU. The school's Hispanic population rose by a staggering 25 percent.

But the enrollment victories still aren't enough to help the public university meet a 2 million dollar budget gap.

"Southern Oregon University received 18 million dollars in support from the state. This year, we will received less than 13 million dollars from the state. As a result, we have to trim 2 and half million dollars from our budge, " explained Jim Beaver, Spokesman for SOU.

The trim, as SOU Representative Jim Beaver explained, means budget cuts, staff lay offs, and more students in classroom.

" The state is taking away money faster than we can bring it in from increased enrollment and tuition, " said Beaver.

At least a dozen university personnel have been informed their contracts would not be renewed for the fall semester and more layoffs are expected.

" Since 80 percent of our expenses is in payroll, that means we have to reduce our payroll," said Beaver standing inside of the university's library on campus.

Students will also bear the brunt of the states' budget shortfall.

Tuition for the fall semester is expected to rise again. No word yet on the exact amount, but the increase will without a doubt put yet another burden on students struggling to pay the costs of attaining a college education.

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