Message to faculty and staff from President Donald Loppnow

June 27, 2016

To Faculty and Staff:

It is with regret that I am communicating with you about some staff reductions that are underway.

Over the last several months, we communicated that the University is facing budget reductions as it enters into the new fiscal year in order to ensure a balanced budget and longer term fiscal stability. As 90 percent of our costs are related to personnel, reductions of employees are among the actions taking place to reduce expenses.

Previous communications made it clear that reductions would not take place in an "across-the-board-manner," but would reflect strategic priorities and support Eastern’s core academic mission. As such, no faculty positions are impacted. In fact, the administration has authorized 30 new faculty searches for next year, with the possibility authorizing an additional five-to-eight searches depending on summer separations. Nine full-time lecturer searches also were authorized.

The first step in the process was to identify and eliminate open and unfilled positions to minimize impact on active employees. As such, 40 vacant positions were eliminated.

The reductions are being conducted following all appropriate collective bargaining agreements. The University's processes for non-union employees were followed to ensure employees are being treated fairly under these circumstances. Once the 30-day "bumping" scenarios are completed for bargained for employees, approximately 10 current employees will have been laid off.

While the personnel reductions are difficult and our employees are highly valued by the University, these actions are necessary to help ensure a balanced budget for 2017 while allowing the University to continue to focus on its core mission of academics and the success of our students.

I ask that you support those impacted at this challenging time.

Donald Loppnow, Ph.D.