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Guilford Board Pauses Budget Cuts

Guilford College will pause a program prioritization plan that would result in dozens of layoffs and program eliminations, the college’s Board of Trustees announced Wednesday.

“We are hearing particularly from alumni who are offering fundraising ideas. We are also hearing internally and from those in the wider education community who are offering ideas as well,” Ed Winslow, chair of the board, said in a statement.

Carol Moore, the college’s interim president, announced in November that the college would need to undergo sweeping budget cuts. The program prioritization plan would lay off more than two dozen faculty members and eight staff members. It would also ax half of the college’s majors.

Groups of students, employees and alumni quickly mobilized against the plan. Save Guilford College, a group of alumni lobbying against the cuts, said it has secured $1.75 million in unrestricted pledges and $1.7 million in restricted pledges that it would collect for the college if the board stops the cuts.

“We know that all of the hard work everyone who cares about Guilford College has done over this past month — to contact the Board of Trustees, make pledges, and spread the word about what was happening at our College — led to this pause and we now have the opportunity as a larger community to come together and use all of our skills and expertise to tackle the problem of saving our College,” Save Guilford College said in a statement. “We look forward to the Trustees’ formal rejection of the interim president’s plan, paving the way for a truly shared and collaborative approach to governance, to undoing past harms and preventing future harms, and pulling together as one Guilford College family to survive this crisis.”

Winslow’s message suggested that the board plans to continue with some kind of budget reduction plan this spring.

“This work will continue and evolve as we take the time we need. However, our goal is to work through the process with the working teams, the faculty and staff, and the greater Guilford community between now and the end of March,” he wrote. “It is important that we do not delay unnecessarily and that we work purposefully to take action in the best interests of our college.”

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