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Moravian College Announces Staff Reductions
Move comes as part an anticipated $2 million budget reduction for FY 2009-10
Bethlehem, Pa., February 18, 2009—Moravian College recently announced that it will eliminated 6 current staff positions as part of its plan to reduce the fiscal year 2009-10 budget. In addition, 4 staff positions were restructured from 12-month to 10-month contracts, and 1 faculty and 3 staff positions currently open at the College will not be filled.
In a letter to the campus community on February 11, President Christopher M. Thomforde announced that the Finance Committee of Moravian College’s Board of Trustees has approved the budget plan presented by the College administration. “On Monday, February 9, 2009, the Finance Committee approved these recommendations after careful consideration and discussion,” Thomforde noted. “Today we have acted upon those recommendations which have to do with personnel actions. While these types of personnel actions are always difficult, they were made as part of our efforts to reduce our operating budget by $2 million in fiscal year 2009-10, and reducing positions was necessary as a part of this process.”
Last fall, Thomforde asked the Moravian community to participate in a review process to contribute ideas for budget efficiencies. Hundreds of suggestions were generated through departmental meetings and discussions. Senior administrators then developed a series of recommendations for action, which were sent to the College’s Trustee Finance Committee for its review.
On January 21, Thomforde spoke to the campus community in an open forum about the impact of the financial climate. He outlined the process initiated by the Board of Trustees to review expenses and look at options for reducing costs, while maintaining a strong academic environment focused on Moravian’s students and Mission—preparing men and women to lead and serve for the common good.
Current worldwide economic conditions, compounded by sharply rising health care and utility costs, have created extraordinary challenges for institutions of higher learning. The College is budgeting for flat revenue and reducing program costs for the coming year in order to provide academic and co-curricular resources and programs in support of student learning, retention, and personal development. In addition to the job reductions, the College will institute a salary freeze for all employees, while maintaining college contributions to pension funds and health care benefits. Reductions in expenses such as travel, printing, and other program expenses are planned. The College hopes to realize additional savings through increased energy conservation and collaboration with other LVAIC member institutions to reduce administrative costs.
“We must continue to plan for future growth consistent with the initiatives of the Strategic Plan, while addressing the urgent economic pressures of today,” Thomforde stated. “Going forward, we will have to continue the difficult work of prioritizing … informed by our Mission and Strategic Plan—not just reacting to expediency or only to market forces. We have eliminated some programs and positions in order to generate the right kinds of resources which we will need to grow other programs and add new positions. My hope and expectation is that Moravian College will come through this very difficult process as a stronger institution, even more able to live out its Mission in a vital and creative way and in a manner more commensurate with its resources.”
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America’s sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.