Concerns regarding the recent elimination of seven positions at Henderson State University were presented to university administration during a special meeting of the university’s Faculty Senate.

Concerns regarding the recent elimination of seven positions at Henderson State University were presented to university administration during a special meeting of the university’s Faculty Senate.
HSU President Glen Jones stated that the purpose of the meeting was to listen to concerns, address rumors and entertain any questions.
“Whenever you go through a challenging budget situation it gets thick. Whenever you start talking about eliminating positions it gets hard. For me personally, it has been a very difficult time,” Jones said.
According to Jones, the proposed budget for 2018-19 is in the works and will be presented to the university’s board of trustees for approval soon. Jones reported the proposed budget has allocated funding to items that were considered a priority to the university. As a result, some items had to be eliminated from the budget.
Jones noted a shortfall in enrollment during the fall of 2017 yielded an additional hiccup with funding. The university’s enrollment dropped from 3,634 students in the fall of 2014 to 3,342 in the fall of 2017.
Faced with a deficit of $3.2 million in its budget, Jones said it is important to still serve the students of Henderson State and to make certain that they look at everything in order to keep everyone at the university.
“I don’t take discussions about reductions lightly because I know that behind every position is a person, and behind every person is a family,” Jones said.
The university released the eliminated non-teaching positions Wednesday:
• Director of Instructional Technology and Multi-Media Learning
• Director of International Student Programs
• Director of the Garrison Center
• Senior Admissions Counselor/Transfer Coordinator
• Administrative Specialist III (Multi-Media Learning Center)
• Administrative Specialist III (Academic Affairs)
• Multi-Media Specialist
The total for all of the positions in question is $299,945.
Jones noted it is difficult to determine the enrollment for the upcoming fall semester, as well as the enrollment for the future.
A question was asked regarding enrollment, student retention and student resources. A question was also asked, more specifically, regarding services for international students. Jones noted that student services will not be cut.
According to Stephen Atkinson, provost/vice president for academic affairs, a staff member will continue to provide services for international students.
In addition, Jones confirmed the university’s Multimedia Learning Center will remain open.
“My understanding is that we are not closing or discontinuing any services we offer our students under the MMLC,” Jones said.
According to Jones, there are components of the MMLC that feed the outside of the community. The center also does not generate revenue to cover all of its expenses.
Jones noted it is important for the university to work together to insure the success of its students. He also stated the university has plans of extending beyond its usual recruiting areas and reaching more students from out of Arkansas.
As far as the upcoming fall semester is concerned, Brett Powell, vice president for finance and administration, said the projections are looking positive.
“If you look at the number of students that have been admitted, it is more than it was two years ago. The projections going forward are positive,” said Powell.
According to Powell, because the freshmen class for 2018 was low, it will produce a challenge for the next three years.
“As this class moves along it becomes less of an issue over time as you replace it with larger classes. We expect the fall class to be larger than this fall. It should be larger than the fall before that based on the current projections,” Powell said.