River Valley Community College Looks to Streamline

River Valley Community College Looks to Streamline

For Immediate Release
May 11, 2017

River Valley Community College Looks to Streamline

Claremont, NH - River Valley Community College this week regretfully announced personnel reductions across the College’s three locations (Claremont, Lebanon, and Keene). Positions affected include administration, faculty and staff. 

The reductions include six layoffs and five positions that are being reduced to part-time.  This is out of a total employee headcount of about 200, including full and part-time faculty, staff and administrators.  In addition, two grant funded positions will be impacted with the conclusion of a federal grant. 

These changes are driven by budgetary needs, but are also designed to sharpen alignment with enrollment and support student pathways. 

Some low-enrolled programs, such an English and Creative Writing, will be phased out or restructured.  Other changes are designed to eliminate overlap and ensure that the College is focused on financial sustainability and meeting emerging needs.

“These changes are very difficult, but necessary,” said Interim President Ali Rafieymehr.  “We all understand that our public mission requires that we look at how effectively we are using resources and meeting the most pressing needs of our region and State, within our budgetary means.  In recent weeks I have been very open with the faculty and staff about communicating the need for these measures, along with my gratitude at the teamwork and commitment to reducing expenses in areas other than personnel.  That said, we do not have the enrollment growth to support our current staffing levels.”

Rafieymehr, who became interim president in January, took the responsibility of assessing the College’s operational, programmatic and financial position and bringing about financial sustainability within an organization that had not seen the type of reductions several other NH community colleges had seen in recent years, despite similar enrollment trends.  He worked with RVCC colleagues to look at programs with low enrollment or that needed to be re-tooled to meet changing needs.  The assessment also looked at student service and other operational needs, with some changes made to accommodate student schedules or to spread coverage out over a wider range of hours. 

“While these measures will result in needed cost savings, they should also result in a better focusing of resources,” Rafieymehr said.  “Colleges across the country, of every type, are having to re-tool in response to both internal and external factors, and River Valley is no exception.” 

RVCC is making efforts to grow in areas where there is student and employer demand, and to expand pathways from area high schools.  For instance, in recent months, River Valley has created new pathways for area high school students to get a start on college-level computer programming, and developed new market-driven programs in Information Technology and Computer Science & Global Innovation.  

“In the final analysis we are here to educate students and position them for success,” he said.  “I have the utmost appreciation for the educators and staff who make that their mission.  River Valley will continue to be an institution dedicated to helping students thrive and create a strong future.”

About River Valley Community College

River Valley Community College is one of seven colleges in the Community College System of New Hampshire, offering associate degree and certificate programs in Claremont, Keene, Lebanon, and online. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the "65 by 25 Initiative," which calls for 65% of NH citizens to have some form of post-secondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.