Loyola cuts employment with voluntary buyouts

Haley Pegg

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Almost 50 Loyola employees opted to end their employment at the university this year in exchange for severance benefits through the voluntary severance program.

In May, the Board of Trustees voted to fund the Voluntary Severance Package as a strategy for long-term financial savings. Loyola informed eligible participants of this opportunity June 1. The faculty and staff members who decided to take the offer were allowed to choose if they wanted to officially resign August 19, 2016 or January 3, 2017, the beginning of each semester of this academic year.

This year, 49 Loyola employees accepted the Voluntary Severance Package. The faculty buyouts will affect existing courses, as professors who accepted the offer will no longer teach their original classes. Because of this, Loyola will cancel some courses. The university has hired adjuncts to teach courses required for certain majors. Loyola’s main reason for enacting the Voluntary Severance Package was to minimize financial costs.

“Our own financial equilibrium journey will continue over the next few years,” wrote Marc Manganaro, University Vice President and Provost.

Loyola has been operating in a financial deficit in recent years. According to the Loyola Fact Book, 5,178 graduate and undergraduate students were enrolled in fall 2011. Total enrollment fell by around 700 students over the next three years, and decreasing enrollment resulted in a decline in the university’s revenue.

Lisa Collins, mass communication professor, commented on the effects these changes have had on remaining faculty members, students, and the university.

“The long-term answer is that we need more students,” Collins said. “We need to increase our enrollment.”

Valerie Andrews is one of two mass communication professors who accepted the Voluntary Severance Package.

“I will miss being part of the day-to-day at Loyola, especially my work with the Donnelley Center and the students in the SMC, but I will always consider myself part of the Loyola family,” Andrews said.

Andrews did not specify why she accepted the package.