University reduces searches for new faculty by two-thirds
Economic pressures will continue to guide the University’s priorities, leading to reductions in hires and “changes to undergraduate student life,” he explained at the meeting. Eisgruber also said he hopes Princeton will save money by hiring junior people rather than experienced academic “superstars.” This, he said, would have a “significant budget impact.”
The University has already reached its goal of making 200 staff reductions between June 2008 and June 2010, Eisgruber noted at the meeting. These reductions were part of the University’s plan to cut $170 million from its budget during this fiscal year and next, roughly $15 million of which was achieved through a combination of vacancy management, the voluntary retirement program, voluntary and involuntary reductions in hours and the 43 layoffs that the University announced on Oct. 29.
There will be no further layoffs or involuntary reductions as part of the current two-year budget-reduction plan, the University announced at the time.
Despite across-the-board cuts, certain construction projects like the new chemistry building will continue, with its opening scheduled for next fall. Eisgruber noted, however, that other construction projects in the near future will likely be lab renovations and maintenance projects, for the most part.
Eisgruber said there will be no changes in the quality of education offered by the University, though there will be a reduction in the number of courses offered, the number of visiting professors and the number of small classes offered by these professors.
Dining options may also be more limited, he explained at the meeting. The Forbes dining hall has been closed on Saturdays since October, and though it will reopen in the spring, the Whitman dining hall will then be closed on Saturdays.
Eisgruber noted that the University must learn to “operate in more constrained environments” in the long term. He noted that Princeton has been affected by the economic downturn much more than schools like NYU and Penn, which rely more heavily on tuition to fund their budgets.
Eisgruber is the chair of the Priorities Committee, a standing committee of the Council of the Princeton University Community that makes budget recommendations to the University’s president, who in turn offers a final budget to the University Board of Trustees for approval. The committee consists of administrators, faculty and staff as well graduate and undergraduate student representatives.
“Students going here will continue to get an education second to none,” Eisgruber said