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Bethel University Cutting Staff, Reviewing Budget

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

CARROLL COUNTY, -Tenn.- Students and teachers at Bethel University are seeing budget cuts across the board in faculty and staff positions and administrative programs.

"I'm in the Renaissance program here and I know that as far as our spring and summer tour, we are only doing half of one because of budget cuts," said sophomore Megan Parker.

The University has eliminated 19 jobs since September and is currently is the process of reviewing each operational process and program.

"I think the economy obviously has effected every university and I think every university is doing like we are and looking at how they can operate more efficiently," said Jennifer Glass, Director of Communications for Bethel University. "This elimination and consolidation of some jobs is our way of balancing or right-sizing our workforce with the students we serve."

Bethel University currently serves to more than 5,200 students which is nearly 3,000 more than enrollment numbers 5 years ago. Glass told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News the university is experiencing the growing pains of enrollment.

"Any kind of operations here are being looked at very closely so we can figure it out, ultimately bottom line, we want to give our students the best educational product and experience," said Glass. "It's the task of adding additional resources to accommodate that growing number of students."

Some students told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News, they fear that the financial future of Bethel University is unclear.

"Well, I've heard we've been going through a lot of cuts so I think that the school is going broke," said Junior John Dyson." We are all students and we are trying to graduate and we are not for sure that our school will be here, even our teachers that we have grown to love and respect, it's just a day to day basic thing."

Glass said maximizing opportunities in student education is the university's first priority. None of the 19 positions eliminated or consolidated in the last few months were teaching positions. Glass said more cuts could follow but until every operation is examined, it is unclear where those cuts will be.
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