In an email to faculty and staff on Wednesday, Temple University leadership urged departments across the University to immediately reduce spending that does not impact student’s learning or experiences as well as prepare to reduce their budgets by five percent for the upcoming fiscal year.
President Englert and Provost Epps also enacted a temporary administrative hiring freeze, which means that any department administrator cannot hire faculty candidates for the time being. Hiring a position that is considered essential can be evaluated through leadership within the University.
Englert and Epps also included that the University is seeking financial assistance “from federal, state and local sources to help Temple through this time” they said.
University Spokesperson Ray Betzner did not know how or if tuition and financial aid would impacted by this budgeting decision.
The decision to make budget cuts comes as various COVID-19 worries cause the US economy to fluctuate daily.
“The economy is down. The amount of money that we can draw from the endowment is down. The amount of money that we might be able to get from donors could be down, because they’re suffering the same kinds of things that we’re going through too…you combine all those things together and you could see that this could have a multi-million dollar impact on the University budget, and as a result, we need to take some very serious actions now,” Betzner told Temple Update.
Betzner also mentioned that the University has taken similar steps to reduce University spending during the 2008 financial crisis.
“By taking action now, and not waiting around to see what’s going to happen…we’ll be positioning the University well so that when this is over, Temple University will continue to be successful” he said.
The University’s operating budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year is $1.29 billion. If the proposed five percent reduction was applied to it, $64.7 million would be removed.
Departments across the University must have their budgets adjusted by May 1, 2020.
The University’s next fiscal year begins on July 1, 2020.