SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) — Black Hills State University is laying off 15 employees as it works to address a $1.5 million budget deficit.

Spokeswoman Corrine Hansen tells the Black Hills Pioneer that some of the staff members were cut immediately and others will be let go in June, the start of the new fiscal year.

University officials say the revenue shortfall is due to students taking fewer credit hours, which they attribute to fewer high school graduates in South Dakota and an increase in the number of part-time students.

The school last month announced it was suspending two academic programs that have low enrollment in another cost-cutting move. The school also is postponing some equipment upgrades, and putting more emphasis on marketing and student recruitment.

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