University of Saskatchewan staff and students learned that 50 administration jobs have been cut from the school at a town hall financial update on Tuesday.

The cuts are a part of the University’s efforts to avoid a projected $44 million deficit by 2016. So far, about $5 million has been trimmed.

Staff and students at the meeting were warned there are more cuts on the way.

University officials are having talks with all the leaders of the school’s departments and colleges to find out where they can make efficiencies and they should have a new number of jobs cuts calculated by April.

The town hall meeting was full of people looking for an update. “There’s a lot of concern and worry regarding layoffs and job losses and rightfully so,” said CUPE Local 1975’s Wayne Foley.

“It’s a very trying time.”

The cost-cutting marks the first time the U of S has prioritized its programs and services.

“Some of the faculty I’ve talked to who are involved in our committees and in our decisions are excited about the prospect of actually solving some of these problems in the best possible way and in the process to leave the university stronger when we’re done,” said University of Saskatchewan provost Brett Fairburn.

The cuts are painful for some, but university officials said knowing what the deficit is, and having a few years to adjust has been an advantage in figuring out the right plan of action.

While the extra time has given administration the chance to focus on their priorities, university employees have been left to wait and wonder if they’re next to go.

The next town hall meeting will take place in May.