Savannah State Enrollment Down 17 Percent, Announces Faculty Layoffs

Nearly two years after the University System of Georgia announced plans to consolidate Georgia Southern University and Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA., the city’s flagship HBCU has announced plans to counter drastic enrollment shortfalls over the last two semesters.

Savannah State University will cut 26 faculty positions in the 2019-2020 academic year in an effort to rightsize spending in the face of budget cuts and a 17% enrollment decline since the fall of 2017, according to the Savannah Morning News.

“While we have taken some interim measures to address the loss of revenue, such as eliminating vacant positions and placing restrictions on new hires, these are not sustainable options given the budgetary circumstances,” (SSU President Cheryl Davenport Dozier) wrote in the October letter.

Officials announced that the university would be “realigning its resources” in light of two consecutive years of declining enrollment and state-allocated funding. The university’s enrollment saw a 10.6 percent decline in fall 2017 and a 7.9 percent decline in fall 2018.

Savannah State alumni have petitioned USG leadership with concerns about enrollment trends and executive oversight. WTOC in Savannah reports that System Chancellor Steve Wrigley responded by saying the system has invested in security system infrastructure upgrades and additional campus safety personnel as a result.

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