Gifts to academic programs at the University of Louisville fell by 25 percent from $84 million to $63 million in the recently ended fiscal year, and now five staffers have been cut from the department that handles fundraising for the university.
UofL spokesman John Karman tells IL that five “support staff” positions were cut last week in the university advancement department as part of a reduction in force and “ongoing university belt-tightening related to the budget shortfall.” This amounts to a 6 percent reduction of staff in the department, which now 76 employees. Karman has not yet been able to answer how many UofL staff and faculty have been laid off since the beginning of the new fiscal year and since the university’s budget shortfall was announced in February.
Once UofL’s $48 million shortfall was disclosed by interim President Greg Postel in February, the university initiated expense cutting measures as they crafted a budget for the next fiscal year, which was to include a salary freeze for faculty and staff, deferred maintenance, and a hiring “frost” in which no more than 25 percent of vacancies would be filled. However, Postel told UofL trustees that month that there would be no need for large-scale layoffs of employees or closure of academic programs.
This staff reduction in advancement took place before Tuesday’s meeting of the UofL Foundation board of directors, in which outgoing vice president of university advancement Keith Inman presented the final figures on philanthropic giving to the university in the fiscal year ending June 30. Inman said the $21 million drop in gifts was the worst decline he had seen in his time leading the department, which will end on Aug. 1 when he takes over as president of Kosair Charities.
While gifts from small donors went up in the last fiscal year, Inman noted…