Harvard to lay off 275 employees

Despite attempts to save money, university cites "extraordinary financial challenges"

The Boston Herald is reporting that, in the wake of a 30 per cent drop in its endowment, Harvard University will be laying off 275 employees over the next week.

“Difficult circumstances have called for difficult decisions,” wrote Harvard president Drew Faust in an e-mail, citing the school’s “extraordinary financial challenges.”

Since January, the school’s administration has tried to save money by cancelling travel spending, reducing discretionary spending, and freezing the salaries of 9,000 employees. Buyouts were offered to 1,600 workers; 500  accepted the offer.

According to an e-mail from the school’s vice president for human resources, the layoffs will be split between administrative and professional positions as well as clerical and technical workers. Forty other employees will see their hours cut.

“These steps have helped to keep the number of involuntary reductions as small as possible,” reads the HR e-mail.  “Unfortunately, further cuts are needed in order for Harvard to adjust to the institution’s new economic reality.”