For a second time members of Fairfield University’s staff have been given a double dose of bad news: they will lose their job at the University and they are one of the few considered non-essential.

Back in 2009, Fairfield announced they would be making 31 layoffs as a way to reduce the budget by 5 percent. Now in the past week, Fairfield University has decided again to cut a number of different staff members in an attempt to seal the $4.3 million budget gap this fiscal year.

“Whenever anybody faces a budget gap… there are two ways of dealing with it: increase your revenues, or try to decrease your expense,” said Fr. Von Arx in the past Mirror article Fairfield Facing $4.3 Million Budget Gap. The University took this advice and decreased their financial expenses through staff positions.

Although no one will confirm the exact number of jobs that were cut, different staff members from the Quick Center for the Arts, Photography Department and Print Shop were affected. Some of the targeted employees have been offered early retirement options and have several weeks to decide. Pending these decision no official final tally has been announced.

According to Rama Sudhakar, “In order to achieve its strategic goals in a fiscally responsible manner, Fairfield University has taken a number of steps to address the financial challenges it faces.”

Sudhakar said that among the different measures taken, Fairfield will be working on: structural re-organization and budget reductions across all University divisions, the implementation of a voluntary retirement incentive program, the elimination of a number of open positions and a small workforce reduction.

Richard DeWitt, philosophy professor at Fairfield and President of Fairfield University’s Welfare Committee said, “I am deeply committed to Fairfield and to doing what I can to move the university in a better direction. But in the past few years I and other faculty have become deeply concerned about the direction in which Fairfield is moving.”

DeWitt noted concerns such as staff being laid off so that the University can add highly paid administrative positions. Also, the salaries of the highest paid administrators increased at extraordinary rates while faculty salaries have barely kept up with cost of living. And lastly, the administration losing site in Fairfield’s mission statement which says, “At the same time it [Fairfield University] seeks to develop a greater sense of community within itself, a sense that all of its members belong to and are involved in the University.” Now, instead of a growing community, highly paid administrative positions are being added at the cost of laying off staff.

Mark Guglielmoni, Head of Human Resources, said, “Those affected were treated with great respect and were provided with a quality severance package that included outplacement assistance and counseling.”

This fall, Fairfield’s enrollment was down 3.7 percent and there was a 2.7 percent increase in tuition, room and board reaching a total of $52,790. Also Fairfield created two new dorms this summer, completely renovated another one and added an off-campus bookstore in town.

Both Vice President for Finance and Treasury, Julie Dolan, and Associate Vice President of Finance, Michael Maccarone, would not comment on the issue.

Gary Wood, Director of the Quick Center for the Arts, lost four members of his staff. He said, “Lay-offs are difficult. No doubt financially challenging times force us to make very difficult choices. Such decisions impact good people and my heart goes out in deepest thanks for their excellent work here at the Quick Center. But the strong dedication to the arts and education at the University goes on, and we must come out of this challenging time rethinking how we do business and position ourselves for a strong, healthy future.

The administration set out to make cuts that would least impact the Fairfield University student experience and FUSA would like to know if students feel these cuts have impacted the student experience. E-mail your response to

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.