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St. Louis Community College trustees approve budget cuts amid protest

ST. LOUIS, Mo. _The St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees approved several budget recommendations Thursday night (Nov. 30) despite protests that delayed the meeting.

Fourteen people took to the podium to address the board. After the final speaker, the several people lied down on the floor in front of the table where the board was sitting and began chanting "Justice for faculty!" Board members left the room.

The college system has been dealing with declining enrollment and a $5 million cut in state funding. For months and at several meetings, people have been voicing their concerns over these possible budget cuts with many saying it would damage campus morale and lead to job cuts for valued faculty and staff.

More than an hour after protests began, the board returned to the room and voted on the measures by raising their hands in a huddle.

The board approved cutting 70 faculty members, either through voluntary buyouts or layoffs and 25 non-faculty jobs. Some low-attendance classes will also be cut.

Faculty members will be notified by March 1, 2018 if their positions are being eliminated. They will be able to finish out the school year which ends in May.

The board also voted to extend Chancellor Jeff Pittman’s contract through June of 2023.