Pennsylvania State University is bracing for layoffs, Spotlight PA reported.
A top administrator asked leaders of virtually all university departments to, by the end of June, identify the employees they would lay off, according to documents obtained and shared by Spotlight PA.
Penn State president Neeli Bendapudi is trying to balance the system’s budget by 2025; last fiscal year it operated with a structural budget deficit of more than $125 million.
In February, Bendapudi sent university leaders a memo in which she said that while “not in a financial crisis,” the system was “in a vulnerable state.”
To help shrink the deficit, Bendapudi’s administration implemented a “strategic hiring freeze” and a new budget model for the next fiscal year.
That model included allotting funds according to a specific formula and requiring each unit to review and adapt its budget, according to a March 13 memo that reiterated Bendapudi’s plan. It also noted such a process might require “corrective actions”—including “limited layoffs.”
Earlier this month, another Penn State administrator acknowledged that some layoffs are “impossible to avoid.”
“Any reduction in workforce is not something University leadership takes lightly,” the university said in a statement to Spotlight PA. “These are very difficult decisions that are being reviewed in a careful manner and the hope is to keep these changes to a minimum. Attrition is obviously a preferred measure for reductions in employee numbers.”