ST. CLOUD - St. Cloud State unveiled a plan to balance their 2017 budget on Thursday, which calls for $5.7 million in staff reductions.

The staff cuts will come predominately as a result of a flexible hiring freeze, retirements, elimination of positions as they become open and cuts in fixed-term appointments and adjunct faculty positions.

St. Cloud State Vice President Tammy McGee presented the budget plan. She says they will also need to lay off a handful of employees.

"When we talk about the number of people who we may need to actually be laying off, that number is somewhere between 10-12 people."

In total, SCSU will experience a 4.5 percent drop in its 1,410 full-time employees from 2016 (an 8.6 percent reduction from 2015).

St. Cloud State is focusing on closing a $7 million operating deficit, as well as replenishing their general fund by $3 million ($10 million total).

They will do this with $2.5 million of increasing revenue next year. Enrollment driven tuition increases are responsible for $1.5 million in revenue, $1.4 million would come from new programs and other sources would add $400,000 in revenue.

The remaining deficit will be managed through $1.9 million in non-personnel cuts.

SCSU President Earl Potter spoke at the meeting and said the decisions were tough to make.

"This is not a mindless cut, we didn't just take a knife and draw it across the campus. We're redesigning approaches, we're rebalancing and looking at our curriculum. It's aligning our staffing with our commitments to students."

In an email to staff, Potter adds the University is also making adjustments through reviewing programs and developing new programs that students want and that Minnesota's workforce needs.

"While cost reductions are necessary, it is our growth that will bring long-term sustainability to the University," The email says.