Friday, June 26, 2009

University: Layoffs? Yes. Scope? Unclear.

The University hopes to save $22 million over the next two years through "personnel savings," the Times of Trenton reported Friday.

Roughly half of that has been met through the U.'s "vacancy management" program. Then, last Friday, the University announced a voluntary retirement incentive program for which more than 450 employees are eligible.

Officials also hope to save some money through voluntary reductions in employees' work schedules.

Still unclear is how many employees and their jobs will fall victim to the economic downturn, as the University deals with a severe drop in the value of its endowment over the last 12 months.

"Will there be layoffs? The short answer is yes, but the scope is unclear," University spokeswoman Cass Cliatt '96 told the Times of Trenton. "We don't know how many people will take part in the voluntary retirement program."

Cliatt told the paper that the University does not intend to follow other universities that have announced widespread layoffs. Yale announced in March that as many as 300 employees would lose their jobs, while Harvard announced on Tuesday they were laying off 275 people.

The crowd at Thursday's town hall meeting on the topic was so large that folks were turned away, so a second town hall has been scheduled for Monday at 9 a.m. in McCosh 50.