By Varsha Subramanian
Dean of Wheelock College of Education & Human Development David Chard, sent an email on Monday to Wheelock faculty and staff, informing them of a budget cut by the University which led to 80 layoffs in the college.
The University has been dealing with great financial losses due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a letter released on June 29, President Brown revealed that the revenue shortfall in the budget for the upcoming academic year was $264 million. After budget cuts, the university still faces a $96 million shortfall.
Brown also wrote that to deal with this shortfall, there would be a lot of changes made to the allocation of the universities expenses in the upcoming year, including: Freezing the salaries of faculty and staff, reduction in the salaries of university executives, freezing contributions to the retirement program, and layoffs for around 250 employees.
Following this, an email sent out by Dean Chard outlined the budget for the Wheelock school at BU and the actions taken to deal with the 15% budget cut which is approximately 2.2 million dollars.
A third of the cuts are one-time changes, while the remaining are permanent cuts. Thus, the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development has permanently cut 8 staff positions, 8 full-time faculty positions, and 64 part-time faculty positions. Apart from this, financial cuts were also made in travel, books, and periodicals.
“Eliminating positions involves very difficult decisions that result in people we value and care about leaving us,” Dean Chard wrote in the letter. “We all wish these changes were not necessary.”
In an email, BU Spokesperson Colin Riley wrote: “One needs to recognize the extraordinary efforts that have been taken and will continue to be made to deal with the challenges in dealing with COVID-19. The University’s actions are being taken in the context to save jobs and to continue to meet the needs of students.”
Further budget cuts might be made in the other colleges. Riley wrote that the deans of the 17 colleges at the university and the administration are actively working to address the revenue shortfall.