Temple University has frozen administrative hires and is asking departments to prepare for a potential five percent budget cut for the next fiscal year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the university announced today in an email to faculty and staff.
Departments at the university are also being asked to reduce their immediate spending and review their contracts with external vendors and consultants to determine whether they are “essential to the education of our students, or the financial welfare of the university.”
Each division of the university must have their revised budget with the five percent reduction included sent to their budget head by May 1, according to the email. The next fiscal year begins on July 1.
Temple is seeking financial assistance from local, state and federal governments to help it through the transition, according to the email.
“A major challenge we face in planning for the future is that we do not know how long the current situation will last, or what the total financial implications might be,” President Richard Englert and Provost JoAnne Epps wrote in the email.
“Consequently, out of an abundance of caution, we need to take specific actions—both immediately and in the long term—that we are confident will ensure Temple’s ability to provide the excellence in education, research and service that has become our hallmark,” they wrote.
Administrative department heads may hire only if they believe the position is essential and with prior approval from the university, according to the email.
The steps the university is taking are similar to what Temple did to protect its finances during the 2008 recession, said Ray Betzner, a spokesperson for the university.
“The university saved a great deal of money by taking those steps, and that helped us get through the recession in a strong place so that the quality of the education didn’t suffer,” Betzner said.