Add the University of California at Berkeley's extension school to the list of casualties hurt by the downturn in the high tech industry and the sagging economy.
Acting UC Berkeley Extension Dean George DePuy announced Monday that a 17- percent drop in enrollment revenue will force the school, which is the adult education arm of UC Berkeley, to lay off the equivalent of 35 full-time employees.
The program, which is self-supported and receives no financial assistance from the university or the state, is projecting a $5.6-million deficit for the current fiscal year.
The cutbacks will affect nearly 10 percent of the school’s employees. The school will cut 24 full-time employees from its workforce of 374. Further cutbacks will be achieved by downgrading some positions from full time to part time status.
The school says the first signs of the downturn were felt last summer, when there was a sharp drop in enrollment in high technology courses, mirroring what was happening in the Bay Area’s high tech industry.
The recession furthered the school's financial woes, which were crippled even more by the adverse impact that the events of Sept. 11 has had on the school's international enrollments.
“We regret having to take this action, and regret the loss of loyal employees,” DePuy said. “We have worked to put together the best possible package we can in the hopes that this will help ease their transition.”
All non-probationary employees who are laid off will be given 60-day notices.
In addition, the school promises to offer them employment counseling services, access to campus office space and computer workstations for an extended period, as well as free UC Berkeley Extension courses for a period of two years after the layoffs occur.