The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Layoffs hit Saint Joseph’s

University experiences first sweep of employee reductions


Last week, 14 employees of Saint Joseph’s University were let go.

During the Fall Convocation on Thursday, Oct. 22, university president, Mark C. Reed, Ed.D. confirmed that the university had eliminated 43 staff and administrative positions, but that only 14 of those positions had been occupied at the time.

According to Reed, individuals whose employment had been terminated were informed through meetings held on Monday and Tuesday of last week. Each meeting consisted of the affected individual, their direct supervisor and a member of the Office of Human Resources.

All affected individuals were offered severance packages equal to two weeks of salary for every year of service the in- dividual contributed, Reed said. Additionally, if an affected individual has a child attending the university and they are receiving a tuition benefit, those benefits will be extended until the child graduates, Reed said. All affected individuals are also receiving transition assistance from the university.

Financial and operational reasons expressed that some form of action needed to be taken, Reed said. He stated that although the state of the university was not dire, it was necessary to take some action now rather than later.

Reed continued to explain that the positions that were eliminated were determined through analysis and meetings with members of Human Resources and the deans and vice presidents of each administrative department.

“I asked each of the members of the senior administration…to identify opportunities in their areas where they thought we could make reductions,” Reed said.

Although the campus was abuzz with news of the lay- offs early in the week, there was no official communication

from the university or members of the administration until the Convocation.

Claire Simmers, Ph.D., chair and professor of management, said that the manner in which the layoffs were executed is what she feels is bothering some members of the university community.

“I support Dr. Reed in that we definitely have to do something, and we need to be more operationally efficient, and we need to match our resources with our revenues,” Simmers said, “so I’m 100 percent in favor of that. I think the biggest issue is the how.”

Robert Daniel, Ph.D., assistant professor of modern and classical languages, echoed Simmers.

“Saint Joseph’s is a human community, and one of the problems with the way that this happened is that members of the community who had been here for a long time, and in some cases, who had been very productive members of the community…for them to be summarily sent away without a whole lot of explanation…is that the best corporate practice for us adopt? I’m not so sure,” he said.

But Reed said he felt the way the situation was handled was the right way, and when asked why he waited until Thursday to address the issue he said, “There’s nothing that I would have put in a communication on Wednesday that I didn’t talk about in person on Thursday [at the convocation]…we’re going to treat folks with as much compassion and dignity as we can…and that means we’re going to be quiet about certain things as well.”

Future layoffs are a possibility, Reed said, but that if such an action must be taken, where jobs are affected, the university will be notified of the coming cuts in advance of any permanent decisions being made.

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