The University of Iowa announced the elimination or cutbacks in funding for 12 of its centers Tuesday.

The Labor Center is one of the programs shutting down. Center director Jennifer Sherer says workers will be worse off without her program. “Knowing how to speak up if they face harassment on the job. Or how to prevent discrimination. What options they have when insurance laws change, and they’ve changed a lot…I mean I’m just running through in my mind the many, many needs that we respond to,” according to Sherer.

She’s gotten some reaction since the announcement that the program will shut down. “Somebody we’ve worked with for a longtime yesterday called and said ‘I can’t believe this is happening!’ You know, he said, ‘You save lives! And you can’t put a price tag on that.’ I don’t think in those dramatic terms sometimes, but that is literally what this kind of education means to people,” Sherer says.

The interim provost of the university say years of state budget cuts forced the decisions. Pulling funding for the programs will save the school an estimated $3.5 million.

(Thanks to Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio)