The Eastern Shore Community College eliminated 12 positions Thursday. In a letter to the staff, interim President Dr. Billy Greer said that the decisions were structural and strategic and that individual job performances were not a factor. Greer said that this painful but necessary restructuring is a critical element of the collaboration that ESCC is entering with Tidewater Community College, which will assume a number of administrative functions.

No faculty were included in the lay offs and according to Greer there will be no further ESCC job cuts for the forseeable future.

Greer stated that the efforts will include a number of programmatic changes that will create new career options for students; new teaching opportunities for full-time faculty; and better-skilled employees for Shore businesses.

Greer also said that the college breathed a “sigh of relief” when the State Board of Community Colleges gave ESCC three years to turn around the college. But he also said that “ we are blazing a fresh trail, forging new model for small, rural colleges to be efficient, effective, and sustainable. The simpler options- becoming someone else’s branch campus, or even closing our doors altogether are simply undesirable to those we serve , and they deserve our very best effort”

Greer said that serving as the interim President of ESCC has been a special honor. Greer will be replaced by Dr. Jim Shaeffer this summer. He said that Shaeffer will inherit a talented and passionate team.

Enrollment at the college has dwindled over the last several years due to a drop in the population of college age students and strong employment numbers due to a growing economy.

Severance packages were offered to those affected. Greer said this was “one way we can help them find their next success whether it’s elsewhere in the community college system or outside of it.