Seattle University, one of the Capitol Hill area’s largest employers, will furlough 79 staffers and begin “mandatory and voluntary pay reductions of up to 20%” due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the Seattle Times reports.
In a letter to faculty and staff, Seattle University President Stephen Sundborg said the private school’s Cabinet and deans will take mandatory pay reductions of 10%, and will be asked to consider voluntary reductions of up to 20%. Upper-level administrators have been asked to take a voluntary reduction of 5 to 20%, and full-time faculty “have been invited to consider a voluntary reduction of 5 to 10%,” Sundborg wrote.
Seattle U says it has lost $7 million due to the costs of remote instruction and closing its residence halls, and is planning a $9.1 million budget cut for the next fiscal year.
Seattle Central and its public Seattle community college system, has also transitioned to remote learning. The colleges have not announced furloughs or cuts at this time. CHS reported on Seattle Central’s struggles to keep up with changes brought on by the crisis in the early stages of the outbreak.
Record levels of unemployment claims are being filed in Washington. The federal CARES act has expanded eligibility for unemployment assistance to include the self-employed, increased the weekly benefit amount by $600, and extended the time available for unemployment assistance by 13 weeks.
Seattle U employs more than 500 full-time and another 200 or so part-time faculty and maintains an enrollment around 8,000 students. Most experts predict enrollment at private colleges will be hard hit by the long term economic impact of the crisis.