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Apr 29, 2014 03:16 PM EDT

Georgetown College in Kentucky To Cut 20% Of Faculty, End Four Majors

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Georgetown College in Kentucky will eliminate 20 percent of its faculty and end four majors to minimize the impact of a $4 million deficit brought on by enrollment decline, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

School President Dwaine Greene announced Monday a "strategic renewal" plan that includes ending majors in French, German, computer science and music by May 2015. The decision will affect several faculty members.

The college is also ending temporarily its matching contributions to current employee retirement accounts, according to spokesman Jim Allison.  For retired employees, the school will cut health benefits, a move that could save about $500,000 a year.

Although the school's deficit has continued for several years, it worsened last fall when dropped by 100 students, "creating a shortfall in tuition revenue at the private school," the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Total enrollment is about 1,100 students.

Greene came to Georgetown last year.

"What Dr. Greene found soon after arriving is that expenditures for the college far outweighed income," Allison told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "When he took a look at some academic programs, we didn't have a lot of majors in some of these areas. This is a way of increasing income by way of increased student enrollment."

Students might be able to take French and German classes. But they won't be able to major in those subjects, Allison said.

Math professor Homer White told the Lexington Herald-Leader the announcement was not a surprise to faculty and staff.

"It's just about right from a financial point of view," White said. "On the other hand, I think we're all aware of the possible long-term academic costs. Are we going to be able to maintain the same quality education, the same kind of focus on academics?"

Allison said the most important thing is that "we are not closing our doors."

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