Budget crisis leads to layoffs

On June 10 and 11, Seton Hall laid off 26 employees when their positions were eliminated, according to Susan Basso, associate vice president for Human Resources.

In a broadcast e-mail to the university community, Seton Hall President Msgr. Sheeran wrote Seton Hall would need to reduce its non-faculty workforce by 32 people as of June 25.

Sheeran added it would be impossible to balance the university budget in the current economic crisis “without eliminating numerous vacant positions and realigning certain administrative and staff positions.” According to the e-mail, the university would also be unable to implement its strategic plan for the year.

Additionally, Sheeran wrote that Seton Hall would need to reduce its non-faculty workforce by 32 people as of June 25.

However, Basso said in an e-mail interview that while the university eliminated 32 positions, six of the employees in the identified positions were reassigned to other positions.
“As such, 26 individuals were impacted,” Basso said.

According to Basso, the staff reductions were made across the university, including administrators, union and non-union staff. However, no faculty members were laid off.

“We made it our priority to ensure that the classroom and student learning were least affected,” Basso said.

Basso declined to say which employees were laid off, stating it would be inappropriate.
A later broadcast e-mail, sent from the provost’s office on June 17, detailed a university organizational realignment plan, which Basso said was related to the layoffs.

According to the e-mail, the office of grants and research and the office of graduate admissions will now be overseen by Dr. Gregory A. Burton, associate provost and dean of research and graduate studies.

Additionally, the e-mail said the office of international programs would be relocated to President’s Hall and overseen by Mary Kirk Rawn, the associate provost.

The e-mail also said enrollment services, specifically the registrar, would now handle the functions and services of the office of academic services, (which would be eliminated,) in addition to its previous duties.

“With the elimination of 26 positions, strategic adjustments needed to be made throughout the university,” Basso said of the realignment.

According to Basso, laid-off employees were notified as soon as possible, and the employees were given two weeks notice.

“The university has provided these employees with fair severance packages and the department of human resources is doing whatever possible to assist them in their transition,” Basso said.

Author: Staff Writer

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