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Staff and faculty laid off by Vol State

Last updated on April 11, 2022

REVISED: March 29, at 10:22 a.m.

By Trent Lieffring

Volunteer State Community College is laying off staff and faculty.

Sixteen staff members were laid off March 17-18, with 13 term faculty layoffs scheduled for this week, said Vol State President Dr. Orinthia Montague, during a forum Monday.

No additional personnel cuts are planned, she said.

The staff and faculty cuts are expected to save the college around $2.5 million that will help a budget shortfall after a 22 percent enrollment decrease over the past two years.

Some staff that were laid off were escorted to their cars and immediately removed from the Vol State Directory. Some staff had been at Vol State for over 40 years.

Students at the Volunteer State Community College Upper Cumberland campuses in Cookeville and Livingston are without a completion advisor, as all three advisors were laid off.

Among the Gallatin campus staff members that were laid off was Office of Diversity and Inclusion Director Jeff King. With King as the only employee of that office, its future is uncertain.

“Unfortunately, at this time I cannot share any additional regarding staff reduction information until the process is complete,” said Montague in an email.

The looming changes that are taking place have left some faculty members on edge.

“Faculty are just stressed out. We’re very stressed out about the whole process,” said Jennifer James, Faculty Council Speaker.

“Vol State has never been here before. We’ve been here 50 years and we have not in my time experienced anything like this before. We are a family. We are a small town. It feels like we’ve been hit by a tornado,” she said.

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