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Local colleges announce furloughs

Apr 23, 2020 5:45 am
Rachel Silberstein is reporting for the Times Union more area colleges have announced plans to furlough staff. Siena College in Loudonville and Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs have announced faculty and staff furloughs and other cost-saving measures to address an immediate budget gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of room-and-board revenue since campuses have gone remote. Siena College will return about $8.7 million to students in dining and housing refunds and credits, which is roughly 36 percent of the school’s annual revenue. Siena President Margaret E. Madden in a memo to students, parents, and staff April 22, called the decision to furlough 75 employees beginning May 1 difficult, but "fiscally unavoidable." Skidmore is facing a $4.5 million financial hit from room-and-board reimbursements alone. "The cancellation of our summer programs and events means the additional loss of budgeted income of more that $2 million, and our endowment is currently down more than 10 percent," Skidmore President Philip A. Glotzbach wrote in an email to the Skidmore community. The 2,600-student school is expected to receive $1.6 million in stimulus funds; half of that amount is to be used for student grants. The College of Saint Rose, in Albany, last week announced furloughs and temporary pay cuts to address a budget deficit. Federal CARES Act relief funds are expected to cover only half of $3.1 million in losses related to room-and-board reimbursements. Union College in Schenectady, has furloughed 274 employees to offset s a $7 million financial shortfall caused by the cancellation of on-campus instruction during the health crisis. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute this week began notifying 280 employees that they would be furloughed from May 1 through July 31. The school, which serves nearly 8,000 students, will receive $4.8 million in relief aid from the federal CARES Act. Read the full story in the Times Union.