With full-time enrollment down 11.2 percent from last year, USU Eastern has decided to restructure its student services department completely to reverse the decline.
That means that 18 current jobs will cease to exist this month, to be replaced with 20 new ones. It does not necessarily mean that 18 people will be leaving to be replaced by 20 new ones.
According to vice chancellor Brad King, the college had hired enrollment consultants to analyze the whole student recruitment and retention effort. Based on their recommendations, the college redesigned job titles, qualifications and responsibilities to "bulk up enrollment," King said.
The restructuring requires a reduction in force to revmove the old jobs before the increase in force. King said the people who have been RIFed will be invited to re-apply for the newly created positions.
Those who choose not to apply for the new jobs will be offered severance packages or retirement.
The reconstructed department will feature three new directorships: Enrollment, Student Success, and Life, Leadership and Involvement. Each will focus on a different aspect of recruitment and retention and will report to associate vice chancellor Alex Herzog.
The college had seen two years in a row of double-digit enrollment growth before this year's dip.
Loss of students poses funding concerns, not only because of lost tuition, but also because the legislature bases annual appropriations according to student count.
USU Eastern, formerly the College of Eastern Utah, became part of Utah State University in July 2010.