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18 employees laid off with 12 more to come

Assistant News Editor

Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Updated: Friday, February 14, 2014 12:02

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CHERIE LEJEUNE

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY CHERIE LEJEUNE

Loyola is down 18 staff members after the university enacted the first round of layoffs on Friday, Feb. 7.

According to a university press release, the cuts were made in an effort to close the remaining budget deficit.

The original $7.5 million deficit resulted from an enrollment shortfall for this academic year, but this number was brought down to $5.1 million with the implementation of a voluntary severance program.

Employees were offered severance packages upon notification of employment termination, Wildes said in the press release. Details of these severance packages were not disclosed.The press release said the cuts represent less than two percent of the university employee base.

In addition to these layoffs, 12 non-tenured faculty members’ contracts will not be renewed in April since the university has fewer students in common curriculum classes, the press release said.

At the President’s Convocation in January, Wildes said that the enrollment drop Loyola experienced reflected the national trend of the decline in the number of 18-year-old Americans who might attend college.

According to a report released by the United States Census Bureau in September 2013, college enrollment in Fall 2012 fell by 467,000 from the previous year’s 20.4 million students. The enrollment of younger students declined by 48,000 while the enrollment of students 25 and older declined by 419,000, the report said.

According to the report, this decline was due to older students returning to the work force after economic recovery from the recession.

Because of such trends, Loyola is not alone in facing the enrollment challenges of these trends.

Mansfield University in Pennsylvania faced a projected $14.3 million deficit during Fall 2012 due to enrollment declines, according to a press release on the university’s website.

The press release said that Mansfield University also reduced the number of employee positions in efforts to improve their deficit.In addition to Mansfield University, The University of Southern Maine is also facing a budget deficit of $14 million for the upcoming year, in correspondence with the national trends of enrollment, according to an article published by the Maine Sun Journal.

According to the article, University of Southern Main faced a budget deficit last year that also resulted in employee reductions.

Although Loyola’s budget deficit is half the amount of University of Southern Main and Mansfield University, the enrollment challenges the universities face are similar.

Wildes said in the press release that the reduction of employees “combined with attrition and a successful voluntary severance program implemented in December, will effectively balance the university’s budget for FY13 —14.”

Despite these cuts, the press release said that no academic programs would be affected.

Wildes said in the press release that the university has been mindful of minimizing the impact the reductions might have on students.

“Our guiding principle in the changes we have made was to preserve and protect the outstanding educational experience we offer our students — an educational model built on more than 450 years of Jesuit teaching and academic excellence,” Wildes said in the press release.

Alicia Serrano can be reached at amserran@loyno.edu
 

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