After dreary December predictions that they would most likely have to cut as many as 12 faculty positions to balance next year’s budget, Whittier College officials are a lot more optimistic today about the 101-year-old college’s financial health.
Instead of 12 faculty positions, only five will be eliminated and three of those are already vacant, they say. On the administrative side, 13 positions were eliminated last month but seven of those were vacant positions.
Alumni responded to the budget crunch by increasing donations, said Susan Pearce, vice president for college advancement. And applications for fall admissions are way up, Admissions Director Katy Murphy said. As of this week, she said, 940 applications have been received, compared to 797 at the same time last year and 910 the year before.
Last year’s enrollment dip, officials now believe, was as result of the October, 1987, Whittier earthquake, which did only minor damage on campus but much more in the surrounding town.
Prospective students would visit Whittier’s older, Uptown area near campus and “they saw a place that looked like it could be bombed out,” Faculty Senate President Fritz Smith said.