MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The University of Minnesota's landcare department is about 50 people short as it begins work for the spring.

Reports say that the team has seen less interest from student workers over the last three years, forcing its staff count to stay around 95.

Former landcare director Lester Potts retired Monday after a 40-year tenure with the department. Potts says the worker shortage causes problems mostly shown in mowing duties.

The division is responsible for mowing lawns, pulling weeds, trimming shrubs and cleaning litter.

The department hopes to hire a workforce of roughly 100 students, but Potts says students are less interested in blue-collar jobs.

According to the former director, many colleges' landcare departments are moving away from a student workforce due to high turnover and unreliability.