Tulane University announced  on Friday that it was eliminating the jobs of 243 full-time employees -- a mix of professional and support positions, none of which were faculty jobs.
Many New Orleans employers have eliminated positions in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and many colleges stopped paying for some part-time and temporary positions. But most have said until now that they were keeping full-time employees on payroll. A spokeswoman for Loyola University, for example, said that the university had pledged to keep all full-time employees on payroll until January and that no layoff decisions would be made until the university found out what enrollment it would have next semester.
The Tulane employees who are losing their jobs will be paid through November 15. A statement on the university's Web site said, "Tulane has made some strategic decisions in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to ensure the continued academic success and financial well-being of the university." The statement also said that additional layoffs might be necessary.
Yvette Jones, senior vice president for external affairs at Tulane, said that the largest group of employees to lose their jobs was in fund raising. Tulane has had a highly decentralized development operation, she said, with each of the university's colleges having its own fund raisers. Post-Katrina, she said, the university will be focusing its fund raising on repairing the damage from the hurricane, so a more centralized approach is appropriate.
"So much of our fund raising now is going to be on rebuilding," she said.
Some of the other areas that took job hits, she said, included a medical school cafeteria, a printing operation, and a billing operation that will now be outsourced.
Jones said that most Tulane employees understand that the university is in a difficult position. "I've talked to a number of people and I think they understand what's necessary because of this event and the resulting disaster here in New Orleans," she said. "Clearly though, when it affects you personally, it is more difficult."