Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill deficit

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Re: Challenge for Catholic Colleges and Universities

Postby le » Mon Jul 20, 2020 10:15 am

Facing $20M deficit, Canisius College expected to announce layoffs today.


Facing $20 million deficit, Canisius College is expected to announce layoffs

Canisius College is expected to disclose layoffs today in response to financial problems that have been plaguing the college for several years.

But the president of the college's chapter of the American Association of University professors, Tanya Loughead, told The Buffalo News Sunday that she knows of 23 faculty layoffs, and there could be a few more. An unconfirmed number of nonteaching employees also are expected to be laid off.

A college spokeswoman said Sunday that Canisius "is in the midst of making changes during these very challenging, difficult, unprecedented times brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic."

However, internal emails obtained by The Buffalo News show that Lee C. Wortham, chairman of the board of trustees, told the faculty Friday that the financial woes predated the virus and were simply made worse by the forced shutdown of the Main Street campus.

Other emails to the faculty by President John J. Hurley said the college projected a $20 million deficit for the coming year, and the trustees told him last month to cut that by $12.3 million. Of that, $2.5 million was to come from the faculty's portion of the budget. The plan also included pay cuts for every faculty member who earns more than $65,000 a year.

Some anonymous "concerned alumni" posted a petition on calling for canceling the layoffs and firing Hurley, the Jesuit college's first lay president.

– Thomas J. Prohaska

[Read The News' comprehensive coverage of the rapidly developing coronavirus crisis]
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Re: Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill def

Postby efkay2u » Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:27 am

BUFFALO NEWS Tues July 21st update (not pretty)

With enrollment falling and a projected $20 million shortfall in a $75 million budget, Canisius College President John J. Hurley said Monday the college will lay off 96 employees, including 25 professors.

Though the college also will drop several low-enrollment majors, primarily in the humanities, Hurley denied charges by internet critics that the 150-year-old Jesuit college is abandoning its liberal arts profile.

Some of those critics are alumni who started a petition to stop the layoffs and fire Hurley. More than 3,700 people had signed it as of 4 p.m. Monday.

“I’ve got the complete support of the board,” Hurley said, referring to the college Board of Trustees, which last month ordered him to make $12.3 million in budget cuts to reduce, but not eliminate, the red ink.

Cansius College President John J. Hurley
John J. Hurley is the first layman ever to serve as president of Canisius College.

By Mark Mulville/Buffalo News
“The cuts that would have been required to completely balance the budget would have been too deep,” Hurley said. “We’re trying to do our best to strike a balance, maintain a high-level educational experience for our students.”

"Canisius is a Jesuit school, always preaching values, but they don't live up to them," said Madelyn Reed, a 2018 Canisius graduate who created a Facebook page supporting the laid-off professors. "They are laying off the wrong people."

“We cannot remain silent while the administration disbands key majors and fires excellent teachers in the humanities,” wrote the unnamed alumni who posted the online petition.

“We know this is just the beginning of the end of liberal arts tradition at Canisius — the very core of its existence. If these cuts are carried out, this will most likely mark the end of Canisius College itself, and certainly any integrity it once had,” the petition said.

“We don’t think we’re abandoning it,” Hurley said of the school's tradition. “We think the realities of the enrollment situation dictate that we make some strategic decisions, but we’re going to continue to teach classes in those areas. The issue is, how do we continue to be a thriving Jesuit college?”

Tanya M. Loughead, president of Canisius’ chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said almost all of the faculty being let go are tenured.

She said they have legal rights that would prevent them from being fired, unless the college declares “financial exigency” and “performs a thorough and transparent program review according to shared governance. Canisius has done neither thus far. For these reasons, the proposed cuts will provoke multiple lawsuits,” Loughead predicted.

The professors are not unionized. They sign individual one-year contracts, which Loughead said give them rights.

Hurley said once the decision was made to drop majors in small departments with few students, there was little choice but to cut tenured professors, since all or nearly all of the faculty in such areas are tenured.

The 2019-20 academic year saw Canisius run a $6 million operating deficit. Hurley said about $2 million of that was incurred when the college had to refund room and board to students ousted from the dormitories when the campus closed in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the biggest hole in the upcoming year’s budget was tied to falling enrollment. A memo to faculty Monday said the college projected an $8.8 million drop in tuition revenue and a $1.6 million loss in room and board revenue.

The faculty layoffs include three each in history, philosophy, management and teacher education; two each in chemistry, fine arts and religious studies; one each in classics, communications, counseling and English; and others that have not been publicly specified yet.

In addition, a fourth philosophy professor moved into the administration.

Canisius will eliminate majors in classics, creative and performing arts, human services, physics, religious studies, entrepreneurship, urban studies, European studies and international business, according to a memo Hurley sent to faculty Monday.

“We’re going to be teaching courses in all of those areas, with the exception of classics – classics is going to be phased out – but we’re going to continue teaching classes in religious studies, in philosophy, in history, in English,” Hurley said in an interview.

“This is a reflection of enrollment trends. These decisions are based on where the students are registered,” Hurley said.

He said Canisius has awarded fewer than four degrees a year over the past six years in each of the canceled majors. Eliminating a major means not teaching the upper-level courses needed to complete a degree.

"We simply can’t afford to do it with enrollments that low in these majors,” Hurley said.

The most popular majors at Canisius are psychology, with 73 degrees last year, and finance, with 62, Hurley said.

“The failure to make cuts in other departments, I think, puts the strong programs at risk,” Hurley said. “This is a question of making strategic choices that don’t make people happy. This is not a happy day for Canisius College.”

The moves will leave the college with an estimated $8 million deficit, but Hurley said it’s not all a cash deficit, because about $6 million of it is accounted for as depreciation of assets.

The college will save $2.5 million by laying off the 25 professors and cutting some academic programs, but Hurley said the salary savings won’t kick in until 2021-22, because all the laid-off professors will receive a full year of severance pay.

Besides the cost of more than $1 million to reopen the campus while complying with social distancing — the installation of plexiglass at counters, offering single rooms to all residents and buying protective equipment — the college was hit with sports-related revenue losses, the president said.

Canisius lost out on $450,000 when this year's NCAA basketball tournament was canceled, a figure pegged to the number of sports it offers and the number of teams from its conference likely to be invited to the tournament.

When Erie Community College announced it would cancel sports for the coming year, Hurley said Canisius lost out on $500,000 in revenue, because it had a deal to house ECC athletes in Canisius dorms.

But although the athletic budget will be cut 19%, Canisius will not drop any sports, Hurley said. It will lay off one assistant coach each for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, but closing down the sports program would drive away about 400 student-athletes and the revenue associated with their enrollment. Canisius offers full scholarships only in men’s and women’s basketbal
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Re: Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill def

Postby efkay2u » Wed Jul 22, 2020 11:39 am


Canisius College athletic director Bill Maher confirmed Tuesday that Canisius will cut about one-fifth of its athletic budget in advance of the 2020-21 school year.

Canisius will not cut any of its 16 men’s and women’s sports, but the cuts will include layoffs and furloughs among athletic department staff, a reduction in travel budgets and salary reductions for coaches and members of the athletic department.

In all, Canisius will cut $1.25 million from its athletic budget for the 2020-21 school year, or 19% of the budget from the 2019-20 fiscal year. That $1.25 million, Maher said, are funds that the athletic department received from the college.

“When we go through these challenges, the goal is, how do we meet these reduction goals and impact teams the least way possible?” Maher said. “All of the other elements are non-negotiable, such as the baseline level of how we can travel safely, how we can feed people properly. We’ve been very economical at Canisius and we will continue to do that, but those are areas we have to preserve.”

Maher said the audit of athletic budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year remains to be finalized, but Canisius generated $12,162,555 in revenue in 2018-19, according to data released by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act.

“The budget cuts and challenges we’ve been facing have been brewing for a while,” Maher said. “The Covid-19 pandemic certainly exacerbated those cuts and pushed them to the forefront.”

Canisius President John J. Hurley told The News on Monday that enrollment at the school is declining, and Canisius projects a $20 million shortfall in a $75 million budget. Canisius also had a $6 million operating deficit during the 2019-20 academic year.

However, Hurley said a decision to drop athletic programs could impact a significant part of Canisius’ enrollment, which was just more than 2,250 undergraduates for the 2019-20 school year.

“We have 400 student-athletes attending Canisius,” Hurley said. “All of them are here because of athletics. That's not saying they don't get a great education, but they're here because of athletics. If we cut athletics, enrollment drops by another 400 students. So, cutting athletics altogether is not a workable situation.

“The rest of the programs are all generating tuition, room and board of some amount. And as we looked at the programs, we looked to see if there was any opportunity, could we actually save money by eliminating a sport? And there are none. In each case, we would see a net loss in revenue by eliminating a sport. So we're staying with the current lineup of sports, but athletics is seeing a 19% cut in its budget.”

Among the layoffs in the athletic department are nine full-time employees, including two assistant coaching positions. One men’s basketball coaching position and one on the women’s basketball coaching position will be eliminated, effective Aug. 1.

Canisius laid off 96 employees, including 25 professors, and 71 nonfaculty employees in total, including 51 administrative and support employees and 20 employees in facilities and maintenance.

Additionally, Canisius lost $450,000 in NCAA distributions because of the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournament due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Maher said the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference made a reduction in its operating budget and passed along that savings to its 11 member schools, but he did not specify how much Canisius received. Maher also said the athletic department is utilizing a reserve from the Canisius Blue & Gold Fund, which is made up of donations that help fund scholarships, coaching, recruiting and team travel.

Hurley also told The News that Canisius will lose $500,000 in revenue from housing Erie Community College athletes in its dorms. ECC announced last month that it will suspend six fall sports programs because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have to explain that we’re doing everything we can to preserve the experiences student-athletes have, and delivering on what we promised them in the recruiting process,” Maher said. “We have 410 student-athletes this year, and that’s because coaches have worked to bring them here, and understanding that we have to be part of this solution. There’s work to be done, but we still will work to provide that experience. It’s something that many parents will ask about, and I’ll answer that we’re going to continue to do our best.”

News Staff Reporter Thomas Prohaska contributed to this repor
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Re: Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill def

Postby le » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:04 am

Lets hope the Griffs can turn this around and return to solid footing from a financial perceptive. This Covid shutdown has to be killing the smaller schools in the Northeast with more demands forthcoming .
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Other NYS colleges in trouble....

Postby MICKEY » Tue Jul 28, 2020 7:12 am

...may be. From an article on ... -says.html
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Re: Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill def

Postby le » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:39 am

Hard to believe, but when they're DEMANDS to shutdown an entire economy, there are consequences.

Nearly 90 schools are in danger of perishing, according to Galloway’s analysis, including five in Upstate New York and 14 statewide:

Adelphi University
Bard College
Daemen College
Fordham University
Hofstra University
Long Island University
Pace University
Sarah Lawrence College
Skidmore College
St. John’s University
St. Lawrence University
The New School
The Sage Colleges
Yeshiva University
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Re: Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill def

Postby efkay2u » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:11 pm

Shocked to see Fordham, St lawrence, Hofstra and St Johns on the list. Any insights?
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Re: Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill def

Postby efkay2u » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:12 pm

Shocked to see Fordham, St lawrence, Hofstra and St Johns on the list. Any insights?
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Re: Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill def

Postby jhart » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:34 pm

Would like to see criteria as I think this is BS.
Fordham campus includes Jesuit long term care facilities and the HS.NY area alumni could deliver adult dollars if called upon.
SJU endowment is huge.
Mickey I know endowment year end reports are June 30 and we won't see them for months, do you have last year's or the website?
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Re: Canisius College to announce layoffs facing $20 mill def

Postby MICKEY » Tue Jul 28, 2020 6:44 pm

Here are the reported endowment numbers as of June 2019:

To the nearest million dollars, not in any order. Little Three schools also listed

St Johns 749
Fordham. 733
Hofstra 622
St Lawrence 316
Yeshiva 665
New School 399
LIU. 239
Adelphi. 187
Sarah Lawrence. 117
Bard. 267
Pace. 193
Sage. 39
Skidmore. 384
Daemon. 20

Canisius. 129
Niagara. 97
St Bonaventure. 74
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