Marietta College to cut 3 dozen administrators and faculty

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Dive Brief:

  • Marietta College plans to cut 22 faculty members and 14 administrators over the next three years, it announced Thursday. The Ohio college will also leave 13 positions vacant.
  • The move comes after Marietta unveiled a plan last year to sunset 10 academic programs with low or falling students headcounts. The programs accounted for about 4.5% of Marietta’s overall enrollment. 
  • The college’s enrollment has remained relatively stable for the past six years. But net tuition and fee revenue has declined as Marietta has invested more in financial aid and employee compensation, the administration said.

Dive Insight:

Marietta President Margaret Drugovich said the cuts were in part related to demographic changes that are expected to cause a drop in college enrollment across the country. 

“Given the anticipated significant drop in college-going students over the next 10 years, it is vitally important that we remain flexible and creative and open to change,” she wrote in a statement. 

Enrollment at the college has hovered around roughly 1,200 students for the past several years, but it dropped roughly 26% from 2012 to 2022. 

Marietta brought in $15.2 million in revenue from net tuition and fees in fiscal 2022, down from $22.7 million in fiscal 2017, according to publicly available financial records. Financial aid awards grew over that time.

In October, the administration announced it would discontinue several undergraduate programs, including those in ​​Asian studies, environmental engineering, linguistics, global leadership studies, land and energy management, music education, music therapy, Spanish and vocal performance. Officials also said they would end a master’s program in athletic training. 

Marietta officials said the process began with a recommendation by AGB Consulting to review all academic programs. 

To decide which programs to eliminate, a Marietta task force employed the approach of Robert Dickeson, a college consultant known for his decisionmaking model to help institutions choose which programs to cut and which to boost. 

Dickeson’s work remains influential, but it has drawn ire from the American Association of University Professors for decades. The group charges that he has eroded the rights of faculty. 

A majority of the affected administrators will be laid off by March 1. 

Tom Perry, a spokesperson for Marietta, said the administration considered where it had underenrolled courses when making the cuts. 

“This allows us to streamline our course offerings, and through rotations and collaborative planning across departments, we will ensure that our students get the courses they need to graduate in a timely manner,” he said via email.



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