Loyola Announces Budget Cuts to Curb Predicted $50 Million Loss Due to COVID-19

Zack Miller | The PhoenixSchraeder will assume the new role of dean of the College of Arts and Sciences July 1.

Loyola is projecting a possible $50 million cut from its budget to account for the financial impact of COVID-19, officials said. In order to make up for the dollars lost, the university outlined budget cuts in an email to the Loyola community May 7.

The university issued partial housing refunds to students sent home in March due to COVID-19, and enrollment for Fall 2020 could provide additional revenue shortfalls as Loyola decides whether to hold in-person or online classes. 

Salary cuts along with potential layoffs and furloughs are some of the actions the university is taking to tighten their budget as it prepares for the “optimistic” $50 million loss, Loyola President Jo Ann Rooney said in the email.

“We do not know yet to what degree we will be impacted, and several survey results of new and returning students force us to prepare for a number of scenarios, many of which, candidly, are quite grim,” Rooney wrote in the email. 

The cuts are projected to save $22 million, making up for about half of the loss, Rooney wrote.  

Loyola administrators are set to receive significant pay cuts, according to Rooney’s email. Rooney, as the president, will lose 15 percent of her salary, vice presidents will lose 10 percent, deans will lose 5 percent and “all other senior administrators” will lose between 2.5-3 percent of their salaries, the email said.

Loyola spokesperson Anna Rozenich didn’t clarify which positions would fall under “all other senior administrators.”   

In the email, Rooney warned of potential furloughs and layoffs for staff within the next few weeks, and the potential for more if the university continues to lose money in the fall. There haven’t been any layoffs or furloughs yet, Rozenich said. Rozenich didn’t answer whether the staff layoffs could include Loyola professors. 

Loyola employees will have a “temporary suspension” of salary increases beginning in January 2021. Hiring, in general, will slow for faculty positions, and freeze for any non-essential staff positions that may open up, the email said. 

The university is also reducing PhD enrollment by 50 percent, and other expenses, such as “travel, purchasing and consulting,” will be reduced. Non-salary related budgets haven’t been reduced yet, but the university said it will commit its limited resources only to spending essential to fall opening, according to the email. 

Loyola has a high financial health score, and a 3 out of 3 on the U.S. Department of Education’s financial responsibility score, meaning the university is likely to recover from the impact of coronavirus on colleges, according to Edmit, a Boston-based company focused on finances at universities. 

The university’s provost, Noberto Grzywacz, said Loyola’s goal for the fall is to provide a combination of in-person and online classes, as well as a fully online option for students who prefer it, according to an email sent to students May 15. 

The university will continue to make decisions based on the development of the pandemic in 30-day intervals throughout the summer, Rooney wrote.

Loyola’s set to receive over $10 million in emergency from the government’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, but over half of the money is supposed to be given in grants directly to students — not to cover any outstanding charges, The Phoenix reported.

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