Webster University temporarily closed its Scott Air Force Base campus due to safety concerns the…
Scott air force base campus could face low enrollment
Civilian employees at Scott air force base (SAFB) who are enrolled at Webster’s SAFB campus in Illinois face unemployment, as the base is cutting jobs. SAFB cited a hiring freeze, some early retirements within the base and transfer opportunities that will leave about 100 workers in search of a new job.
Approximately 20 percent of Webster students at the SAFB campus are employed at SAFB as civil service workers. The layoffs are part of a larger staff cut of 9,000 management staff and support positions nationwide.
“They (the layoffs) are just now happening,” said Larry Friederich, Academic Advisor and professor at SAFB campus. “You can’t see any impact right now. It would be a future impact.”
Webster’s SAFB campus has a total enrollment of 250 graduate students. The majority of those students are employed by SAFB; however, not all are civilian workers.
Friederich said there has been no impact and he believes any future impact will be minor.
“It’s a little early in the game to see how much of an impact it’s really going to have,” Stephen Forsha, Scott air force base Director, said.
Forsha said the extended campus had about four students affected by the job cuts. During Fall I, a student withdrew immediately from their fall courses at Webster’s SAFB campus and didn’t sign up for the spring semester.
“On a personal level, it affects all of us because they are friends, co-workers, peers and students,” Forsha said. “You hate to see people go through that. It’s an emotional toll on them.”
Forsha said school became a second priority for students affected by the job cuts.
“Hopefully we can continue to offer our services and take care of the students we have,” Forsha said. “It wont be a huge impact; right now we don’t know the full extent. We’re hoping it wont be that bad.”
The SAFB campus doesn’t have plans to cut the number of courses offered or reduce faculty. Forsha said he hates to see students lose their funding.
The Air Force is also adding 5,900 positions in areas such as nuclear enterprise and intelligence. A press release announced by Lt. Col. Cynthia Anderson, Air Force Public Affairs Secretary, stated the air force rearranged in an attempt to be more efficient.
Webster offers graduate programs on extended campuses at more than 40 military bases.