DePaul University lays off dozens of staff

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Declining enrollment is one possible cause of staff layoffs this week at DePaul University. | Sun-Times file photo

DePaul University has announced the layoffs this week of 62 full- and part-time staff members.

The decision comes as the Catholic school’s board of trustees approved “major cost-saving measures and strategic reductions in the FY19 budget, primarily in administrative and support expenses. These structural changes will place the university in a better long-term position to invest in strategic growth,” the university said in a statement to staff Thursday.

The layoffs represent 3.5 percent of the 1,795 non-faculty workforce, the statement read. Laid-off staff members have been offered severance pay, subsidized benefits, a tuition waiver extension if applicable, and access to outplacement services.

They will also be able to apply — and receive priority consideration — for any open DePaul jobs for which they are qualified. No faculty positions were eliminated.

The DePaulia, the school’s student paper, had reported earlier in the week that layoffs were expected. Falling enrollment numbers in recent years may be one cause.

In 2012, the school had over 16,000 undergraduate students — in the span between the 2016 and 2017 academic years, the undergrad population dropped from 15,407 to 14,816 students.

The email to staff did not go into detail about specific positions affected by the layoffs, but did say “the decision to terminate an individual’s employment is a difficult one and is only taken after a great deal of consideration.”

Clarification: This story previously stated the school “the school had over 16,000 people — in the span between the 2016 and 2017 academic years, the population dropped from 15,407 to 14,816 students.” Those numbers represent the university’s undergraduate population.

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