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Ivy Tech trims staff to cut deficit

Updated: August 13, 2013 6:37AM



GARY — Three Ivy Tech Northwest administrators are losing their jobs following the recent merger with Ivy Tech North Central that’s aimed at reducing costs and streamlining operations.

The northwest region includes Gary, Valparaiso, East Chicago and Michigan City. The north central region includes campuses in South Bend, Elkhart County and Warsaw.

Northwest administrators whose jobs were eliminated are: Keith Howard, vice chancellor for student affairs; Karen Williams, executive director of marketing and communications, and Forrest W. “Bill” Thon, executive director of Corporate College. Similar positions were eliminated in the north central region.

In April, Ivy Tech announced the merger of the two regions with the appointment of North Central Chancellor Thomas Coley as chief administrator. Layoffs were hinted at that time as Ivy Tech grapples with a $68 million budget deficit fueled by a state budget that hasn’t kept pace with a growing enrollment.

Ivy Tech’s state board of trustees recently voted to raise tuition 8 percent over the next two years.

Coley addressed the layoffs Thursday at a meeting of the Northwest Regional Board of Trustees at the Gary campus. After the meeting, he said the reductions will save about $1.2 million, but he said other administrators would take on added responsibilities and duties.

He said Ivy Tech’s Gary campus is hosting a reception for its three departing employees at 2:30 p.m. Monday, their last day.

Two other administrators from the north central region retired and their positions won’t be filled.

Other Ivy Tech administrators seeing expanded duties include Margaret Semmer who’s now vice chancellor of academic affairs and student success for the merged region. Previously, she was vice chancellor in the northwest region.

Ivy Tech became the state’s community college in 2005 and has taken over most of the associate degree programs and remediation efforts from four-year universities.



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