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UD announces cost-cutting measures to mitigate COVID-related financial stress

Delaware News Desk
University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis announced on Sept. 24 cost-cutting measures necessitated by pandemic-related financial stress.

University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis announced on Sept. 24 cost-cutting measures necessitated by pandemic-related financial stress. 

Without mitigation, the university would be facing a $250 million deficit this academic year. Some mitigation efforts have already been enacted, including drawing $100 million from the university's endowment.

"Given that we will have eliminated almost all discretionary expenses for this year, we have no choice but to turn to personnel actions," said University President Dennis Assanis. "We are committed to balancing the respect and appreciation we have for our workforce with the need to respond to immediate financial pressures, while positioning UD for success in the next few years."

The measures to stabilize the financial health of the institution will include:

— Voluntary retirement incentive program for staff: Eligible employees who have dedicated their careers to help make UD a world-class institution will have the opportunity to consider the benefits of retirement at this time.

— Voluntary schedule reductions: Employees may choose to temporarily scale back their work hours and thus, their compensation.

— Personnel reductions: Cost-saving measures will result in workforce and time reductions in multiple University departments. These decisions will be communicated to affected employees as soon as possible by their supervisors.

“Unfortunately, over the next several weeks, we will also implement a period of unpaid leave and temporary reductions to retirement contributions for all staff,” said the university in a press release. “The details of these measures are still being determined in order to minimize the impact on employees to the extent possible. President Assanis will give a detailed presentation on the financial situation and take questions from the UD community at a virtual town hall meeting on Oct. 1.”

These measures currently apply only to staffers, not faculty members, i.e. professors. University leadership continues discussions with the unions representing employees, including the UD chapter of the American Association of University Professors.