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Lahey: A dose of reality
President John L. Lahey announced in a memo on Tuesday that all Cabinet officers have been asked to cut costs above and beyond the five percent reduction in budget spending that was announced in December.
“The overall endowment continues to decline,” Lahey said in an interview with The Chronicle.
The memo, sent to all faculty and staff, stated that Lahey will look into every facet of the budget in an effort to reduce the operating expenses for the 2009-2010 academic year.
“I am asking them to consider all possible options, including freezing salaries for next year; reducing operating expenses; restructuring administrative functions and in some cases eliminating administrative positions,” Lahey said in the memo.
When asked which positions had already been cut, Lahey would not specify due to the fact that they are still employed by the University and will not be released until June 30.
All full-time faculty will likely be retained, though the option remains open for the school to eliminate some of these positions. There has already been a $500,000 cut in the part-time faculty budget. Lahey pointed out this amount of money was coming out of a “multi-million dollar budget.”
The academic operating expenses are not the only entity in consideration for cutting down the school’s spending. Other cuts being considered include reductions in advertising and public affairs. Athletics may not be spared from the cuts either and some sports may be completely eliminated at Quinnipiac.
Lahey stressed that these proposals were not all definite, and were simply suggestions that will be brought up to the faculty senate in April, with the final decisions coming at a Board of Trustees meeting in New York in May.
“My crystal ball is not any better than anyone else’s,” Lahey said.
With the addition of the York Hill and North Haven campuses in September 2009, Lahey said that they would hire a minimal number of “staff” positions, such as maintenance and security, to accommodate the new campuses. Also, some current employees will be asked to work at the new QU sites.
Lahey has asked Mark Thompson, senior vice president for academic and student affairs, to “work with the deans to develop new and improved retirement incentives to see if we may be able to realize some salary savings through retirements of senior faculty members.”
He also said that with the hiring freeze on faculty members, students should expect the average class size to increase by roughly two students per class. This would bring the average class size up from 22 students to 24 students.
“The Board of Trustees also had approved a resolution to freeze salaries for me and all Cabinet officers next year,” the memo stated.
It’s not all bad news for QU, as Lahey pointed out that the new dining hall construction remains on schedule as does the completion of 520 beds on the York Hill campus.
“We have a lot of momentum,” Lahey said. “I have no doubt we’ll get through this.”