Despite expectations of an economic turnaround, Skidmore College announced that it would lay off 30 to 70 employees to help balance the budget for the 2011 fiscal year. Dan Forbush, executive director of communications at Skidmore, said laid off employees would be staff members, not tenured faculty or tenured track faculty, and that notifications will begin in February.
The number of reductions will be determined through an examination of a full context of budget decisions, like financial aid/tuition increases, investment income projections, estimates of gift income, revisions to enrollment targets and the effects of other reductions being made elsewhere in budget, said Forbush, who added that the college has already implemented a first round of cost savings steps and is getting ready to implement a second.
Skidmore President Philip A. Glotzbach said that the current cost savings measures have allowed the college to achieve a balanced budget but not a sustainable one. According to a release from Forbush, these measures were the implementation of a general salary freeze, restrictions on overtime, continuation of a strategic hiring freeze, extension of the computer-replacement cycle from four to five years, reduction of capital expenditures like funding for deferred maintenance and technology replacement and reductions in spending on energy, printing, travel, special events, services and supplies.
"Because we have been able to balance our current budgets only by reducing our investments in all three of those areas we must, I believe, establish a new financial framework within which such investments once again are possible," said Glotzbach.
The projected layoffs are part of this new financial framework that will aim to close the budget gap for the 2011 fiscal year. Other steps include a continuation of the general salary freeze through 2011, an additional 3 percent reduction in services and supplies budgets, a continued freeze on open positions and limitations on use of outside consultants.