Roanoke College plans to eliminate the jobs of 14 employees and make other cuts to reduce spending by $6 million, the college announced Tuesday, citing financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget reductions, which begin July 1, also will include leaving open positions unfilled, suspending contributions to employee retirement plans, and reducing salaries and operating expenses, according to a news release.
“The current devastating health and economic crisis require us to take these actions,” President Michael Maxey said in a statement. “We are making the sacrifices necessary now to ensure our long-term viability and ability to provide a high quality experience to every one of our students. These are difficult decisions to make.”
The 14 staff positions are from several departments around campus, spokesperson Teresa Gereaux said. Likewise, operation budgets will be reduced across campus, not targeting a single area.
Both faculty and staff will be affected by the salary reductions, which will vary in percentage and are planned to last one fiscal year, Gereaux said.
The most recent previous workforce reduction occurred in the early 1990s, according to the release.
The college is anticipating between a 4% to 8% decline in student enrollment for the fall semester compared to last year, Gereaux said.
Roanoke College is a private, liberal arts school that is the second-oldest Lutheran-related college in the U.S. In fall 2019, total enrollment was 2,005 students. In May, Maxey conferred degrees on 429 graduates in a virtual ceremony that was livestreamed. The graduates, whose final semester was disrupted by the pandemic and moved to online -only classes, were mailed their diplomas. The college intends to conduct an in-person ceremony for the graduates at a later date.