As all of you know, this past year has created a set of extraordinary financial challenges for our university as it has for others. I am grateful for the continuing efforts made by people across Harvard to confront these new realities with thoughtfulness and care, and with an emphasis on sustaining the strength of our core academic programs.
With compensation accounting for so high a proportion of our budget, we will enter the 2009-10 academic year with salaries held flat for faculty and exempt staff; we have also offered a voluntary early retirement program in which more than 500 staff members across Harvard have chosen to participate.
While these actions have helped us reduce expenses, we nevertheless have more we must do. In the coming days, Harvardís Schools and units, as well as its central administration, will be carrying out a reduction in the size of our workforce ó modest in comparison to the overall size of our University-wide staff, but nonetheless painful for those people directly affected, as well as for our community as a whole.
Most of the Schools will carry out the process this week; the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Medical School, the central administration, and several of the allied institutions will follow, beginning on June 29.
Such decisions, in their human dimensions, are among the hardest that an institution like ours can make. But difficult circumstances have called for difficult decisions across the University.
As we proceed through this complicated transition, I want again to express my appreciation to all of you for your dedicated efforts on Harvard's behalf.
A letter from Marilyn Hausammann, our vice president for human resources, explaining more about the planned reductions, appears below.
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