Apr 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Universities try to offset massive losses with layoffs and furloughs

Students from University of Michigan were told to leave campus in March. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Students from University of Michigan were told to leave campus in March. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Universities across the U.S. are predicting massive revenue losses as uncertainty looms over whether it will be safe enough for students, staff and faculty to return to campus in the fall.

Why it matters: A number of colleges will furlough and lay off workers to offset budget cuts and operating costs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • The losses are accumulating as students demand tuition, room and board, and other fee refunds from the spring semester, claiming online classes are a lesser value compared to in-person learning, Inside Higher Ed reports.

What's happening: An estimated 14 million students were sent home this semester, CNBC reports, putting faculty and other jobs on the chopping block to help offset losses.

  • University of Arizona announced furloughs and pay cuts for nearly all of its employees this week after the institution projected a $250 million loss, the Arizona Daily Star reports. The university said it has already experienced $66 million in losses.
  • University of Michigan said in a letter from the president that the school could face revenue losses as large as $1 billion by the end of the calendar year.
  • Washington University in St. Louis will furlough 1,300 employees for 90 days, NBC affiliate KSDK reports.
  • University of Missouri is anticipating a 12.5% budget cut on its Columbia campus, with upcoming layoffs and furloughs likely, the Columbia Tribune reports.
  • Valparaiso University in Indiana announced it will furlough 200 full-time and part-time employees, the Times of Northwest Indiana reports.

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