The Northern Marianas College will be executing the first phase of austerity measures effective March 8.
That includes cutting work hours, reducing electricity usage, restricting non-federal travel, and reducing amounts that would go to different departments for equipment and supplies for the third and fourth quarter. They will also restrict the hiring of non-federal positions, including critical positions that NMC needs filled.
This has become necessary as the college had been informed by the Office of Management and Budget that the institution’s budget allocation will be reduced by 28.3% because of the COVID-19 impact on the local economy.
According to NMC interim president Frankie Eliptico, the board voted to support the austerity measures proposed by the college leadership. The reduction of up to 20% of work hours, as well as other measures to reduce all expenses for the institution for the remaining fiscal year, will be effective in March.
Prior to the Board of Regents meeting, Eliptico reached out to leadership team members who are directors and deans of the various departments on campus, as well as the staff senate, faculty staff, and different departments to also get suggestions about other ways the college can implement to cut cost, while also evaluating the consequences of the suggestions.
Additionally, NMC’s work study has also been holding off on hiring students who want to participate in work study. The purpose of work study is for students to help different departments at the college while getting some experience and also getting paid.
“The austerity measures don’t apply to federally funded employees and anybody making $25,000 or less,” said Eliptico.
Although NMC will be cutting expenses in order to survive the fiscal year, this won’t affect any of the classes or students. Eliptico does not plan on cancelling any of them and the classes will continue as scheduled.