Board approves new plan
Board of Trustees approves Wildes’s plan to reduce the deficit
Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 14:10
Last Friday, Loyola University’s Board of Trustees approved a voluntary severance program to tackle part of the university’s $7.5 million deficit for this academic year.
According to Jay Calamia, vice president of finance and administration, the program is the first of two phases in the university’s plan to address the deficit.
Marc Manganaro, provost and vice president of academic affairs, said that the Board approved the plan presented by the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., without altering it.
The voluntary severance program is expected to reduce the deficit by $1.4 million, Calamia said. The second phase plans to eliminate the remaining $6.1 million and will be presented to the Board for approval in December.
Calamia said that the university is considering two options for the second phase of the plan for the deficit. One option is a reduction in workforce, while another is a temporary reduction in Loyola’s contributions to employee retirement benefits.
While Calamia said that a combination of the two is possible, he said that he believes most of the deficit will be made up through a reduction of force.
“Where most of the needle is going to move is reduction of force, if not all of it,” Calamia said.
Calamia said that it is too soon to estimate how many positions would be eliminated under this plan.
According to an email sent to university employees from Wildes, university President, Loyola is offering a voluntary severance package to employees who fit certain criteria. Eligible employees must be over 55 years of age and have completed at least 10 years of continuous full-time employment at Loyola as of Dec 31, 2013.
The email states that there are currently 94 tenured faculty members, nine non-tenured faculty members and 82 staff members eligible for this program. Eligible employees can elect to participate in the program from Dec 16 until 18, and will be offered packages on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Wildes said that he did not plan to send a campus-wide email about the Board of Trustee meeting activities and approval.
Manganaro said that while some departments of the university have more eligible employees in the severance program, it is uncertain which departments will be affected most by it.
“We don’t know exactly who’s going to take it, so we don’t know how many people in each area will actually decide to leave the university,” Manganaro said. Jasmine Barnes, SGA president, attended the Board of Trustees meeting. Barnes said that she feels the severance package provides the chance for a mutually beneficial agreement between Loyola and some of its employees.
“The package creates a budget saving opportunity for the university and an opportunity for those who served the university and want to retire,” Barnes said.
In addition to the voluntary severance program, Loyola is also examining what the true university size should be moving forward. Manganaro said that based on information from Scanell & Kurz, a consulting firm, Loyola is aiming for more realistic class numbers in the future.
“We are expecting, if maybe not classes of 620, but certainly classes that are realistically not going to be closer to 900,” Manganaro said.
Karl Gommel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.