MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The University of Minnesota Extension Service plans to cut as many as 60 education jobs around the state as part of a reorganization plan to save $4.5 million.
The job cuts are just part of the plan to make the Extension Service more cost efficient by trimming obsolete programs and consolidating administration, Dean Charles Casey said Wednesday.
The Extension Service has offices in all 87 counties and roughly 300 educators, providing services like crop production, parenting classes and 4-H programs. More than 800,000 people use the services each year.
"We're going to do less with less, but we're going to do it better," Casey said.
The Extension Service wants to make $4.5 million in cuts by 2003-04. Programs that used to be free may cost money, and services that have been provided in person will instead be given through a Web site.
A report going to the Board of Regents next week suggests that voluntary retirement be offered to some employees early next year and, if those savings are not sufficient, that layoffs follow.
"That's the hard part," Casey said.
Casey said he would not propose closing county offices.
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