Georgetown College cutting majors, faculty to close budget defic - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Georgetown College cutting majors, faculty to close budget deficit

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Expenses are up, and enrollment down. It all adds up to trouble for one of Kentucky's most prominent private colleges.

Georgetown College is facing a $4-million budget deficit, and is taking drastic steps to stop the flow of red ink.

Work crews are busy trimming the old ash trees on the Georgetown College lawn.

But from the administration building, word of more serious cuts.

"Our new president came in last fall and began a very careful and very analytical review of our current circumstances," said college spokesman Jim Allison.

As a result, the school is eliminating four of its majors: Computer Science, German, French and Music.

"These decisions were not made easily, but they are recognizing we've got to make some adjustments," said Allison.

That means 20 percent of Georgetown's faculty is being cut, along with 18 staff positions, some of which are already vacant.

The school is also cutting retirement benefits.

It's at least partially the result of a 10 percent drop in the school's 1,100 student enrollment.

"Our goal is to get our operational situation back in line with where it needs to be and go forward," said Allison.

None of the faculty we approached would comment on camera, but students say they trust that the administration is doing what's best.

"It makes me a little sad to know that some of our faculty is going to be leaving us, but I also think it's crucial for the college," said Kelsey Aerni.

"It kind of hurts some faculty and some students now, but I think 5 to 10 years from now, it will help the school," said Patrick Zazzaro.

But Georgetown is not alone. A group which advocates for Kentucky's private, liberal arts schools, says many are having to make tough decisions.

"It's sort of like pruning a tree sometimes. You have to focus on fundamentals, and then you grow from there," said Gary Cox, president of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities.

Georgetown says fall enrollment looks promising.

Meantime the school promises to help students affected by the cuts.

"The college will assist them in transferring to other institutions should that be their choice," said Allison.Most of the cuts take affect in 2015, the end of the next academic year.

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