Greensboro College Cuts Salaries 20 Percent
Chris Lawrence passes along a News 14 report that North Carolina’s Greensboro College has imposed a 20 percent across-the-board salary cut.
Administrators explained Friday that eight people were laid off. Salaried employees will have to take a temporary 20 percent pay cut beginning May 1. “We wanted to protect our lowest paid employees, and we have a number of people, some 300 employees, and some of them are on hourly pay schedules, and these are people we did not want to be affected by this at all,” Greensboro College President Dr. Craven Williams said.
The cuts also include eliminating matching contributions to retirement funds. Dental insurance is being cut, the use of temporary labor is out, staff sabbaticals are suspended, and administrative stipends are reduced.
Dr. Williams said a 40 percent drop in endowment earnings, a $1 million drop in gift donations and a projected decline in enrollment for next year forced their decisions.
It’s an understandable move but one that will surely be harmful in the medium run. Unlike most jobs, where employees forced to take a salary cut can immediately start looking for another position and leave two weeks after finding one, colleges hire on an annual basis and it’s now too late to find a new tenure track job for the 2009-10 academic year. I’d expect Greensboro’s best faculty to spend much of the next year looking for a job at a more stable institution.
Of course, given the state of the academic job market — and the fact that private liberal arts colleges in nice settings get more than their fair share of applicants — there will be others to take their place. But for the next few years, at least, those with lots of options will likely think twice before signing on at Greensboro.