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Georgetown University plans series of budget cuts due to financial impact of COVID-19

The university president said they are expecting an operating loss of at least $50 million before the beginning of the Fall term.

WASHINGTON — Georgetown University announced that they will pause new hiring, salary increases, and discretionary spending through June 2020 due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus impact on revenue at the institution, according to a letter sent by the president of the university to faculty and staff.

In the letter, Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said because of the economic impact of the coronavirus, they've already spent about $25 million within the first week of the global crisis. He said they expect to take a dip of at least $50 million before the start of the Fall semester.

The university will take the following measures in an effort to provide a savings cushion of $100 million to accommodate the $50 million in shortfall spending:

  • Withholding merit increases for faculty, staff, and AAP for the upcoming fiscal year. This is expected to save the university: $18 million.
  • Freeze hiring and salary increases until further notice.
  • Suspend all Georgetown contributions to retirement plans for the coming fiscal year for all faculty, staff, and AAPs starting June 2020. This is expected to save the university: $47 million.
  • Fifty-four members of the leadership of the university’s administration will take voluntary salary reductions for the coming fiscal year. This is expected to save the university: $2 million.
  • Reduction of new buildings and grounds and maintaining a high level of scrutiny for non-essential spending. This is expected to save the university: $40 million.

The institution has also implemented a nine-week voluntary temporary furlough program and voluntary salary reduction program faculty and staff can decide to take to help "protect as many jobs as possible" at the university, DeGioia said. School officials believe the university has the ability to save an additional $10 million with the voluntary efforts.

"These are actions that we can take at this time in anticipation of a very uncertain period and with the goal of putting us in the strongest possible position to protect our mission and the livelihoods of the Georgetown community, as we face additional expenses and revenue shortfalls in our response to the impact of COVID-19. We will be continuing to review and assess our financial position, as the external situation evolves. Additional steps may become necessary, including actions affecting employment and compensation and other cost reduction measures, as we confront the challenge of responding to COVID-19 over these next few months," said DeGioia.

In preparation for the fall semester, the university has put together a team of campus leaders and GU colleagues to focus and address questions or issues surrounding Public Health, Academic Planning, Operations and Finance.

This weekend, GU is holding virtual ceremonies, including the conferral of degrees to celebrate the Class of 2020.

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