Suffolk University shuffles, cuts staff
Twenty administrators are losing their jobs, and 15 more are being reassigned to new posts at Suffolk University, which has grown explosively and drawn criticism for lavish spending in recent years.
The layoffs and reassignments represent only a small fraction of the university’s workforce of 1,141. But they may signal new priorities at the school, which is rearranging top management and seeking to replace longtime leader David Sargent, one of the nation’s highest-paid university presidents before his abrupt resignation in October.
Suffolk’s acting president and provost Barry Brown announced the layoffs in a letter to employees yesterday, citing the sluggish economy and a desire to ease financial burdens on students and their families.
“We’re proud of the way the institution has grown over the past decade, but it’s a challenge of these times to match that growth against the obligation we have to run an institution that provides value to our students, particularly since it’s a tuition-driven institution,’’ Brown said in an interview, adding that he hopes the cuts will help the university keep tuition stable. “It’s too early to say whether we can hold the line, but ultimately that’s our goal.’’
The university, which will save at least $1 million because of the job cuts, hired outside consultants in the spring to find ways to reorganize and trim its ranks. Those consultants remain in place.
“The next step is to make sure the restructured organizations work as well as we want them to work,’’ Brown said. “We do not have a specific second wave of layoffs planned, but the consultants are still here, and they’re still looking at the institution. Would I preclude further administrative changes? I don’t think I would, no.’’