PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — In a letter to its employees, Brown University officials announced today that it would eliminate approximately 60 filled staff positions as of June 30, 2010, to help meet a $30-million budget reduction target for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010.
The positions were identified following an extensive and broad-based organizational review process involving 12 teams and more than 150 faculty, staff and students. Over the course of the fall 2009 semester, the committee studied all major areas of the University’s operations. In early 2010, the Organizational Review Committee (ORC) presented President Ruth J. Simmons with recommendations for organizational change that would produce $12 million in budget reductions and $2 million in additional revenue. These savings were incorporated into the fiscal year 2010-11 budget, which was approved by the Corporation at its regular February meeting.
“These are enormously challenging times for our entire community,” said Brown Provost David Kertzer. “The economic downturn has forced the University to review and rethink the way we operate in order to reduce budget deficits while maintaining academic excellence in teaching and research.”
Throughout the review process, efforts have been made to limit the number of individuals affected by the reductions, including holding open vacant positions, and offering a voluntary retirement incentive program, which 139 individuals opted to accept. The University has approximately 3,000 non-faculty employees.
“We are grateful to the entire Brown community for working together so thoughtfully during this challenging period,” said Beppie Huidekoper, executive vice president for finance and administration. “The economic challenges that we face have required us to make difficult decisions — decisions that affect members of our community who have contributed greatly to the University. We are taking a number of steps to ensure that those affected by these changes will be supported as they seek to transition to alternative employment.”
The University outlined a plan for employees whose positions are being eliminated, which includes, among other things:
- continued active employment, with all Brown benefits intact, through June 30, 2010;
- enhanced severance packages, effective July 1, which will provide four weeks of compensation for every year worked at Brown, up to 40 weeks;
- continued contributory coverage of health benefits through the severance period. Once exhausted, continued health care via COBRA;
- outplacement support services;
- placement wherever possible in alternative positions at Brown.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the University will inform affected individuals, providing detailed information about severance, possible alternative positions, and transitional services.
“Our goal is to complete this process as soon as possible but with as much care as needed,” Huidekoper said.