Skidmore employees can breathe a little easier, now that the 30 to 70 layoffs announced in December will no longer occur. Skidmore College President Philip A. Glotzbach announced Tuesday, Feb. 2, that the college's financial outlook has improved and the projected layoffs are not necessary anymore to achieve a balanced budget in the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Glotzbach cited an upswing in the economy, a strategic hiring freeze and successful voluntary early retirement incentive program as reasons for this change.
These and other factors including the absence of a general salary adjustment for two years and the cost-containment efforts of the entire Skidmore community " have combined to create a stronger financial outlook for the college than we could reasonably have predicted even six months ago," Glotzbach said.
Glotzbach also noted that alumni and parent giving is an upward trend and the college has saved major personnel costs by eliminating the budgetary equivalent of 55 full-time positions"really, about 30"through the strategic hiring freeze and roughly 25 through the early retirement program.
While the college's endowment is still far below the nearly $300 million level it was at in 2007, it has rebounded from a low of $220 million to $270 million as of Dec. 31, 2009.
The college is still not completely out of the woods, but any future changes will be relatively minimal in comparison to a wave of layoffs, said Glotzbach. He said the school will maintain the strategic hiring freeze, restrict overtime for at least another year and continue to limit the use of part-time and temporary employees. Some positions will also be restructured and some hours reduced.
"These measures will place additional demands on other employees, and the entire community will experience some discomfort as services we came to expect in the past are reduced or eliminated," said Glotzbach. "None of these changes is simple or easy, but they are required if we are to avoid additional cuts to our work force."