Fairfield University President, Mark Nemec, announced to faculty and staff on Nov. 2 through email that the University will be restructuring across all of its divisions, leading to layoffs among staff members. Nemec stated that 16 staff and administration positions were eliminated.
The layoffs come mostly from a financial need within the University, due to the costs incurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since the pandemic began, the University has had a new, more urgent need to modify its operations to accommodate the many unique challenges that this pandemic has created, including reduced revenue and significant unanticipated expenses,” Nemec said in his email.
Nemec also cited that the University had instituted new measures over the summer to ensure financial security, including “freezing and canceling open positions, foregoing merit increases, reducing our savings plan match, reducing executive pay and other cuts to discretionary budgets.”
However, as the situation on campus changed throughout the semester, the interim measures were reassessed and it was determined that targeted layoffs were needed to “meet our overall operational and financial needs.”
The released employees are being taken care of by the University.
“We are caring for each impacted employee with a generous separation package and comprehensive outplacement benefits,” stated Nemec.
Jennifer Anderson, vice president for marketing, reiterated the University’s statement, saying, “Unlike many of our peers, Fairfield was fortunate to not have to make rash decisions at the start of the pandemic.”
She declined to provide any additional comment aside from the University’s official statement released by Nemec last week.