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Employees at University of Lynchburg shocked by sudden staff reductions



Lynchburg, Virginia – Many staff of the University of Lynchburg were abruptly laid off due to major reorganization.

About 80 academic and staff personnel were notified last week that it would be their last day of employment. In addition, 12 undergraduate and 5 graduate programs were eliminated.

One of the impacted employees, Jennifer Monroe, voiced her displeasure and irritation with the way the matter was handled. Monroe spent six years employed for the university.

Monroe revealed how, during this trying time, she and others are feeling abandoned by the university.

“They obviously knew this was coming for a month, a year or more. And people could have been making a plan.. You know. That would have been support,” said Monroe.

As a student, Monroe first visited the university in 2014 and immediately fell in love with the people and atmosphere there. She started working as an administrative assistant in the school of sciences in December 2017. She was appointed assistant director of the summer residential governor’s school for math, science, and technology a few months later.

Monroe claims she was taken aback by her abrupt dismissal from the university despite some recent changes and years of hard work and rewarding experiences.

“By the time I walked into the meeting yesterday, I knew. People were talking about how bad it was going to be,” said Monroe.

On Wednesday, emails were sent to Monroe and around eighty other people telling them to show up to different meetings over the next few days.

They were informed during the meetings that their jobs were terminated and given one day to gather their belongings and depart.

“I mean the knowledge base they let go of yesterday… I mean there were people that had been there for 30 plus years that had one day to go and get out,” said Monroe.

Officials from the university accept the concerns, but they stand by the decisions they made.
They claim the need to preserve confidential company information and spare employees’ time so they may start looking for work right away.

“A lot of thought and effort went into supporting the staff as much as possible. You know in the state of Virginia its an at will state any support or severance from an institution after termination is not required,” said Heather Bradley, Assoc. Vice President, Office of Marketing and Communications, with the University of Lynchburg.

In order to facilitate a smooth transition for former staff members, officials stated that they are providing outplacement services, counseling and education benefits, as well as university-paid health insurance for a maximum of three months following termination through COBRA.

The institution advises anyone with inquiries to seek assistance on its website.

“Today’s rapidly evolving higher education landscape is forcing colleges and universities across the nation to face challenges they never have before,” the university states. These challenges include the COVID pandemic’s lingering effects, which will likely shape the state of education for the next several years, the FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid) crisis, which is impacting student financing, and steadily declining birth rates, which mean fewer college-aged students nationwide.

The spokesman claims that “all closed programs will be taught out over the next three to four years,” meaning that students enrolled in the programs that are being eliminated will be able to finish their degrees.

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