Newman president addresses school's budget woes

By: Alexis Stallard, Editor-In-Chief

Newman University is facing a $4 million shortfall, and its administrators and board of trustees will soon be considering how to address it, according to an email sent to Newman employees by President Kathleen Jagger just after classes started.

Faculty and staff layoffs are one possibility being considered, sources say.

It is all part of a prioritization process that Jagger said in the message is necessary to “help us strategically align our budgets with our available resources.”

To continue doing an excellent job serving our students and living our mission we must be responsible stewards when resources are limited,” the email said. “While we are proud of how we serve students and our community, and confident of the quality of our programs, we must live within our means.”

Jagger went on to say in the email that the amount of savings needed to “align resources with current demand” is close to $4 million.

“In its 90-year history Newman has never been a wealthy, exclusive institution and we have been challenged further since COVID to maintain healthy enrollments in some program areas, and to attract the additional resources we need through philanthropic gifts and grants,” the message said. “This is unlikely to change without some readjustments.

Jagger responded to an email seeking comment on the budget situation and possible layoffs by saying that no further decisions would be made until after the board of trustees meeting on Oct. 20.

The “prioritization process” will focus on three areas, she said in the email sent to faculty and staff, and Newman’s vice president’s will lead the efforts.

The Academic Program Prioritization charge will be led by Alden Stout, vice president of academic affairs; The Athletic Program Prioritization process will be led by Bob Beumer, vice president of institutional advancement; and the Administrative Resource Prioritization process will be led by Anthony Beata, vice president of finance, according to the email.

Each leader will perform a thorough analysis of resources and will recommend how to best use those resources to cut down on cost. She also said that each area will need to make sacrifices and readjustments in the coming months to help put the university in a better position. In the email, she listed several things that need to be approached differently, such as marketing the university better to prospective students and building up promising programs that will draw students to enroll.

“...The need to make decisions based around contract renewals and other timing issues, will necessitate some actions be taken while still working through the process.”

Some of the changes will be made in the 2023-2024 budget, the message said. Others will be included in the 2024-2025 budget.

PHOTO: Courtesy photo, University Relations