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Harvard Announces Hiring Freeze and Salary Cuts Due to Coronavirus

Harvard Announces Hiring Freeze and Salary Cuts Due to Coronavirus

“We will be scrutinizing the FY21 budget to determine what other steps are necessary to respond to the financial impact of the pandemic on our operations.”

https://youtu.be/4OXSnft0HaM

This seems drastic for Harvard. They could continue to operate for years without taking in a single penny.

The Harvard Crimson reports:

Harvard Announces Salary and Hiring Freezes, Discretionary Spending Reductions, Potential Deferral of Capital Projects, and Leadership Salary Cuts

Facing dire economic straits brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard is instituting an immediate University-wide salary and hiring freeze, cancelling or deferring discretionary spending, and considering deferring all capital projects, University President Lawrence S. Bacow, Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp, and University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 announced in a Monday email to Harvard affiliates.

Bacow, Lapp, and Garber will each cut their salaries by 25 percent, per the email. Senior school administrators, including the deans of Harvard’s 12 schools, their vice presidents, and their vice provosts, will also either reduce their salaries or contribute to a support fund for employees experiencing hardship.

In the email, Bacow, Lapp, and Garber also addressed the possibility of layoffs or furloughs. The wrote that Harvard is still working to “gain a more complete picture” before deciding whether to take such action.

“We will be scrutinizing the FY21 budget to determine what other steps are necessary to respond to the financial impact of the pandemic on our operations. We will communicate with you when more information is available,” they wrote.

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the University into financial turmoil in recent months, incurring unexpected expenses while also cutting revenue sources. Bacow said in an April interview with the Harvard Gazette — a University-run news publication — that the immediate financial effects are “significant.”

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Comments

healthguyfsu | April 14, 2020 at 9:36 am

The freeze makes sense until re-evaluation of impact, especially for a private university (and even one as large as Harvard).

Plus, they have to fully refund all the feel good stuff, care for the loudest complainers, cancel grades, and still pay bloated salaries (25% is a drop in the bucket for people making bloated salaries). They probably feel pretty good about themselves for that cut, too.

Harvard’s endowment of $40.9 Billion gives it enough of a buffer that it could indeed “continue to operate for years without taking in a single penny.” Still, as Health Guy said, the hiring freeze makes sense.

The overpaid administrators can easily drop their salaries by 25% and feel no pain. The tenured faculty are also paid handsomely, and could survive major pay cuts, even severe enough to lower their salaries to the levels that most universities pay.

The untenured faculty and the non-administrative staff at Harvard are not so well paid, and the untenured faculty have exactly zero job security. Their salaries should not be cut. Neither should they be laid off or furloughed. If Harvard isn’t willing to spend a small piece of their $40.9 Billion to help their least-paid faculty and staff survive this crisis, then they deserve to be criticized and picketed for their callousness.

They could save a few million bucks by offloading the Cherokee colostomy bag and her enabling husband.

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