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Fiscal Strains Force Xavier University to Cut Programs, Faculty

Fiscal Strains Force Xavier University to Cut Programs, Faculty

Campus damages, combined with fiscal uncertainty in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, have prompted Xavier University of Louisiana to announce faculty and staff personnel reductions — as well as the suspension of several programs — while the campus prepares to reopen on Jan. 17, 2006.

A majority of affected staff personnel have been placed on unpaid leave with continued medical benefits until January 2006, at which time their status will be re-evaluated. Faculty reduction decisions are based on the university’s fiscal circumstances and assessment of its ongoing needs for the future.

Undergraduate and College of Pharmacy courses will be offered at the Xavier campus beginning in January, however Graduate School offerings will be limited to online courses only.

Furthermore, the university has suspended conference participation in all intercollegiate athletic programs until the fall of 2006.

According to Calvin Tregre, senior vice president for administration, the reductions were necessitated by the anticipated campus reconstruction costs, combined with the loss of all tuition and auxiliary revenues for the Fall 2005 semester — plus anticipated financial aid needs in the form of scholarships for students returning to the Xavier campus when the university re-opens. The fiscal impact of those factors has been estimated at more than $90 million.

Tregre says, “This is a devastating action for a close-knit community such as Xavier, but the tremendous financial challenges we face post-Katrina forced us to make difficult decisions.”

The personnel and program reductions will assist in stabilizing the University’s fiscal condition for the 2005-2006 academic year.

Meanwhile, a special “Xavier University Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund” has been established to receive donations from private, nonprofit and corporate donors to help the college recover from the hurricane.

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