MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — Reductions in force (RIF) are under way at West Virginia University’s Morgantown campus as part of the university administration’s effort to close a $45 million budget deficit.

However, the number of faculty being let go will be lower than initially approved by the Board of Governors, WVU Provost Maryanne Reed said Monday.

During a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate, Reed announced that the number had been reduced by more than 50% due to a “significant” number of faculty voluntarily retiring or resigning ahead of the cuts.

The initial number of faculty set to receive RIF notices was 143, but Reed said the actual number will be 69.

“I realize that this is of little solace for those faculty members who will be losing their positions,” Reed said. “I recognize that it’s going to be very difficult on those individuals and their families. I think we all know people who will be impacted and none of us is taking it lightly.”

Notification of faculty members selected for the RIF began last week and will continue through the week of Oct. 16.

WVU also announced in September its recommended changes for Academic Support Units in the academic transformation.