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COVID-19 crisis forces Seattle U to cut pay and furlough staffers

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.

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Alocal
Alocal
8 months ago

Increased weekly benefit by $600 until start of August, then most self employed will be trying to live on $188 week…

Bob Knudson
Bob Knudson
8 months ago
Reply to  Alocal

The federal legislation increased the time for being on unemployment by 13 weeks, which means (I think) that it will cover someone beyond August.

Bob Knudson
Bob Knudson
8 months ago
Reply to  Bob Knudson

On second thought, the extension just applies to state unemployment payments. The federal component ($600/week) will end after 4 months, unless it is extended, which I think is very possible.

ByeBye
ByeBye
8 months ago

Furloughs and “voluntary” pay cuts when the University has a $241M endowment. It’s disgusting really.

That. Thank you.
That. Thank you.
8 months ago
Reply to  ByeBye

This. Thank you.

Paul
Paul
8 months ago
Reply to  ByeBye

Big endowment? The place is in the hole financially for not the first time. Some departments are bloated with expensive tenured faculty that previous idiot deans just kept hiring. Many of these small colleges are going to undergo a real adjustment and reconfiguration over the next few years as the big enrollment hole hits.

Religion is the opiate of the masses
Religion is the opiate of the masses
8 months ago

Where is Madame Megaphone, rushing to the aid of the educator class? Too busy clomping around outside the Spheres? Yoohoo, Kshama…some folks need your help!