WILBERFORCE, Ohio — One of the country’s oldest historically Black private colleges is laying off workers and imposing steep pay cuts in an ongoing struggle to survive.
Wilberforce University cut $750,000 from its payroll last year, but the president of the small Ohio school says that’s not enough to deal with large debts that threaten the college’s existence. The school is preparing for a visit from its accrediting body, which will review issues including debt management.
The Dayton Daily News reports that university President Herman Felton told alumni last week that staffers will see at least 20 percent pay cuts, though he promised his own salary would be reduced by even more.
Declining attendance had threatened to close the school in 2014, but enrollment in November 2015 rose 85 percent to 650 students.
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