IT Tralee is currently overstaffed, bleeding money and facing serious cash flow issues, a report by the Higher Education Authority shows.
According to the Irish Times, the report forecasts that the growing deficits at the college could grow to €4 million in the next few years. The report also questions whether IT Tralee’s funding projections are accurate.
The college also needs to secure €3 million in funding for the Kerry Sports Academy. The centre will cost €15 million, with the government funding half of its total cost.
IT Tralee currently enrolls over 3500 students, along with 350 staff members who are based between two campuses in Co. Kerry. The institute was also planning a merge with Cork IT, which has caused concern as Cork IT would likely take on their deficits.
The Irish Times reported that the main funding difficulties come from a decline in full-time students, which have fallen by over 15% in the last five years.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, the college’s president explained that the highest deficit the college had was €2.5 million, but that it had been reduced to €1.5 million.
Dr. Murphy added that the college is trying to boost the numbers of both part-time and lifelong learning courses, so lecturers aren’t left under-timetabled. According to Dr. Murphy, the number of people entering lifelong learning courses has increased by 77% in recent years.
When asked about the prospect of voluntary redundancies, Dr. Murphy said it was something they would look at when it becomes available.
Photo credit: Institute of Technology Tralee