ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Western Wyoming Community College has announced the 15 positions that would be eliminated under cost-saving proposals. The college is facing a roughly $2.4 million shortfall in the 2021-22 budget, and layoffs are part of the budget recommendations that the Board of Trustees are considering. Trustees are scheduled to vote on the proposal on Jan. 28.

Western staff learned some of the details of the proposed budget reduction plan during an in-service speech on Tuesday. A special board meeting was announced Wednesday, and the full budget plan was released to the public as part of the agenda on Thursday morning. Later that day, people had a chance to voice their reactions.

Dr. Kim Dale, president of Western Wyoming Community College, said the college has never had to consider a mass layoff like this before.

“This is a very difficult time for Western,” Dale said. “The deep budget cuts and layoffs have life-changing impacts on our employees and their families. The college and Board of Trustees clearly understand that there are people attached to these decisions, and we take this responsibility very seriously. I ask that we continue to treat each other with kindness and respect during this challenging time.”

The college memo noted that if the Board of Trustees supports the additional position reductions, Western will have cut a total of 26 full-time positions within the 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal years. This would equate to a 12% reduction of Western’s full-time workforce since the beginning of fall semester 2020.

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