Triplicate Staff

The College of the Redwoods Board of Trustees has voted to eliminate 39 staff and management positions, including an administrative office manager post at the Del Norte campus.

Four members of the board approved a reorganization plan Tuesday that also removes two senior-level administrative positions, which will be discontinued when their contracts expire at the end of June 2013, according to a college press release. Del Norte area trustee Rick Bennett was absent. The board's decision was made to address CR's fiscal solvency and accreditation standards, according to the release.

The reorganization plan and reduction in staff at CR will result in a savings of about $500,000 for the 2012-13 academic year, as well as a permanent savings of approximately $1.6 million annually in subsequent years, according to the college.

CR staffing cuts will be spread throughout the district, including the Eureka main campus as well as the Del Norte and Mendocino Coast education centers.

Despite the staff reduction at CR's Del Norte campus, all the services students are accustomed to receiving will continue to be offered, including assessment testing, help with financial aid applications and registration, as well as use of the computer labs and library, CR President Kathryn Smith said.

Community colleges statewide have been experiencing budget cuts for the last five years. College of the Redwoods funding has declined by 15 percent during that period, while staffing levels and costs of providing employee benefits have steadily climbed, according to the college.

CR's financial reserves have nearly run out. The college reported a 2.41-percent ending reserve balance as of June 30, 2012, which is less than half the state-required 5 percent.