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Aug 03, 2016 05:59 AM EDT

Chicago State University Lays Off 400 Employees

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Since the beginning of the year, Chicago State University has laid off almost 400 staff and employees. That totals to about 40% of the staff in school.

Chicago State University is going through a huge financial strife and the lay offs are part of the solution. The school which focuses and serves mostly minority and low-income students in Chicago is going through an unprecedented budget crisis. According to the Chicago Tribune, the massive lay off came with a cost.

The lay off that should have alleviated the school backed it up with $2.2 million. The cost is the severance pay mandated by the school's own policy. The long-standing policy states that it requires up to a year's notice of being terminated or a payout for the time.

The generous policy is common in Illinois public universities. Compared to other states, this policy is much more kind to those who are terminated.

Chicago State University already provided $1.6 million in severance to 50 administrators alone through lump-sum payments in June. In addition, another $650,000 pay out was issued for unused vacation days for 130 staff administrators and civil service staff employees.

That ate a huge chunk out of the $7.3 million budget by the end of the first quarter of 2016. However, ultimately they have exhausted their funds. There were 10 faculty staff members that were laid off in July that did not receive a severance pay because a provision in the faculty contract that would have required a year's notice did not apply because the school has declared financial exigency.

The school is going through a tough financial situation and the school itself depends on state funding. Thirty percent of its operational budget relies on that funding. Chicago State got hit hard when it was only provided with partial funding. In addition to this financial challenge, the school is looking at a projected enrollment decline and tuition revenue will decrease.

The news started months ago with the school sending notices to its employees. Check out this video below for more details:

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