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Morehouse College to Cut Jobs, Salaries to Offset Budget Deficit

Morehouse College said in a statement on Monday that it will cut jobs and salaries, and implement furloughs to offset an anticipated fiscal year 2020-2021 budget deficit and to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

David A. ThomasDavid A. Thomas

The Atlanta institution, a historically Black college or university (HBCU), estimates a potential 25% decline in enrollment because of the pandemic.

The college will furlough 54 part-time and full-time employees for two months; 13 full-time employees will be terminated effective June 1. Pay cuts will be instituted for 194 exempt full-time employees. These cuts will become effective June 1 and will extend to at least Dec. 31, 2021. Faculty and staff members who earn more than $55,000 annually will see a pay reduction of 10-15%. College president David A. Thomas’ salary will decrease by 25%.

The cost-reduction measures, prompted by a budget shortfall first announced in September 2019 combined with the anticipated impact of the pandemic on enrollment, will impact the earnings or job responsibilities of every Morehouse employee, both faculty and staff members, Thomas said in the statement.

“This is a pivotal moment for all of higher education,” Thomas said. “Those who can adapt to this new normal will thrive, while those who continue to look backwards will struggle to survive. Since even before the Great Recession, the business model of most higher education institutions has been under pressure by changing student demographics, rising costs, and the many choices technology has provided students on how to learn.”

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