28 June 2020 | Adventist Today recently reached out to Andrews University to learn more about financial decisions taken by the university in light of the coronavirus crisis.

In an email response to Adventist Today, Stephen Payne, the institution’s Special Assistant to the President for University & Public Affairs, acknowledged “limited layoffs” as part of “a variety of careful approaches that will help minimize the impact to our employee community amidst this challenging environment.”

In an effort to manage the university budget and ensure financial stability, Andrews is reducing payroll expenses by just over $3 million. This is equal to 3.5 percent of the total university expense budget, and 7.3 percent of total payroll expenses.

The $3 million cut is being achieved through:

  • Student labor reductions
  • A decision not to fill a range of open positions
  • 10 faculty early retirements
  • Four one-year faculty furloughs (and some partial furloughs)
  • 12 staff layoffs

In addition, some faculty have announced retirement plans for next summer.

Payne framed the changes as part of an “intentional plan” by Andrews to “ensure the balance of its workforce meets the current needs of the campus community.”

Payne revealed that in the spring of this year, 164 individuals were placed on partial or full furlough due to the immediate impact of COVID-19. Most of those individuals will return to full-time employment August 1, 2020.

Reflecting on the reductions, Payne said:

“We are in a changing, dynamic situation and are working to be responsive to that as needed. Unfortunately, that causes uncertainty to our employees, as is currently the case with workers throughout our nation. We very much regret how that has impacted the personal lives of our colleagues.”

Last week, Andrews University President Andrea Luxton sent a message to alumni, saying the university was aware of “over 100 students who will not be able to begin classes this fall without major assistance in the $2,500 to $5,000 range.”

She said the university expected to hear from more students facing similar challenges.

Luxton appealed to alumni to contribute financially to help students that may not be able to return to school due to financial hardship.

Andrews University is an Adventist university located in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Founded in 1874 as Battle Creek College, it was the first higher education facility started by the denomination and is widely recognized as the flagship university of the church.

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