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University of Delaware announces layoffs, other measures as budget deficit grows

From Delaware Online

The University of Delaware said it is facing a budget deficit of about $250 million this year, as significant revenue loss and increased expenses from the COVID-19 pandemic strain the university’s finances.

On Thursday, the university announced another round of cost-saving measures that included layoffs, a voluntary retirement program and voluntary staff hour reductions.

There will also be unpaid leave and temporary reductions to retirement contributions.

Thursday’s round of cuts apply to university staff members only, not faculty members. UD administrators have begun talks with the faculty union. Those negotiations will be dependent on how many staff members choose to take the voluntary retirement or reduced hours, university spokesperson Andrea Boyle Tippett said.

Staff who choose the voluntary retirement option must notify the university by Oct. 5. The incentive payment would equal five months of base salary, plus payment for any unused vacation days.

“Given that we will have eliminated almost all discretionary expenses for this year, we have no choice but to turn to personnel actions,” Assanis said in a letter to faculty and staff on Thursday.

Campus departments are also being asked to scale back spending. Non-academic units are being asked to cut budgets by 25% to 35%, while academic units must cut by 15% in an effort to “preserve the academic core of the institution,” Boyle Tippett said.

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