$800,000 Budget Cut Proposed: West Virginia University Library System Plans to Reduce Staff, Modify Space Amid University Cuts; Materials Budget Will Not Be Affected
Following the vote to cut 28 majors and more than 100 faculty positions at West Virginia University, the university’s library system could be the next to take the heaviest blow on campus.
On Wednesday, the university released those findings, and the library had the most cuts recommended as it was proposed the system would cut its budget by $800,000.
“Library materials and services are critical to the success of our students, faculty, staff and community and we will not compromise them. That’s why I worked with the Provost’s Office to determine how we could realize up to $800,000 in savings without affecting our materials budget,” she [Library Dean Karen Diaz] said.
The libraries have until Dec. 1 to submit a plan to reach that reduction. Faculty that is cut from that plan will be notified the following week.
Gavin said while this may include modifying space, no libraries on campus will close. He said there is no way to know for certain now how many staff positions will be cut.
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The libraries department’s operating budget has already been reduced over the last couple of years, according to Mark Gavin, WVU’s associate provost for academic, budget, facilities and strategic initiatives. But the provost’s office questioned the libraries’ staffing levels despite a “voluminous” number of positive comments collected from students, faculty and staff in a stakeholder survey.
“Under its current structure, saving $800,000 from its personnel roster would be rather debilitating,” Gavin said during a presentation Wednesday. “But through restructuring efforts, the dean of the libraries, Karen Diaz, is confident that she can realize these savings without negatively impacting service levels for students, faculty and staff.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.