Southeast Avoids Layoffs with $2M in Budget Cuts; President Holcomb Resigns

In today’s case of accounting whiplash, Southeast Technical Institute says it won’t need to resort to layoffs. Just three weeks ago, Southeast was saying a two-million-dollar deficit meant staff would lose jobs. I calculated STI would have to cut 40 instructor positions to close the budget gap. Now, Sioux Falls school board president Kent Alberty says they found the money elsewhere:

The efforts of the administrative team over the past weeks have led to a budget that is balanced and sustainable. This has been accomplished through hard work by many and has led to no faculty layoffs or program closure [Kent Alberty, press conference, transcribed from video posted on KELO-TV, 2016.04.27].

Budget-cutting and retiring Southeast Tech president Jeff Holcomb
Budget-cutting and retiring Southeast Tech president Jeff Holcomb

STI president Jeff Holcomb spoke of “serious cuts in a variety of areas” and “reduced contracts for some individuals.” Cutting equipment, facility renovation, and other unnamed line items will keep everyone working under a $24-million budget.

Well, everyone except Holcomb, whose resignation Alberty announced at the top of the press conference. Holcomb said he’s a relatively young guy (age 56) and wants to pursue other less stressful opportunities. Holcomb and Alberty both said the departure is Holcomb’s decision, not a booting. I can buy that: if I found an administrator who could save half of my staff from layoffs with some creative budget cutting, I’d probably fight to keep him around.

Then again, I might ask how we got into that mess in the first place and why we were lugging around two million dollars of apparently dispensable equipment and facility projects.

But hey, STI teachers, it sounds like you’re off the hook. Take each other out for a beer tonight, and enjoy your reassured employment.


2 Responses to Southeast Avoids Layoffs with $2M in Budget Cuts; President Holcomb Resigns

  1. Roger Elgersma

    The one Obama visited for their graduation had the highest job placement in the country. Hard to compete with that. Holcomb had told us at forum that he had already been keeping an eye on where the jobs were and adjusting programs according to what the needs were, so he was not asleep at the wheel. But if Sioux Falls did not have enough job openings to keep the place competitive is a strange problem since we are by far the biggest city in the area. But that is competition, some excel and others just do not do as well as we would like. there seems to be a shift twards more votech and less college so I am not sure why they did not all do well at the same time. Might be more to it than meets the eye.

  2. We are a city of low wages. unless your a ups driver.