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Le Moyne plans staff furloughs amid expected revenue loss of up to $24 million due to COVID-19

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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Le Moyne College is planning furloughs and salary reductions to deal with expected revenue losses between $12 million and $24 million in the coming year, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an email sent to the campus community. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Le Moyne College is expecting revenue losses of between $12 million and $24 million in the coming year because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The college is planning for furloughs and salary reductions to deal with the financial fallout.

At the same time, the school is planning for on-campus instruction this fall, but also preparing for the possibility of returning to online-only instruction.

Dealing with financial impact

Le Moyne College officials believe the economic “uncertainties” will affect the families of its students and the college itself beyond 2020-2021.

“We are not certain that a loss of $24 million is our worst-case scenario,” per an email sent to the Le Moyne College community from the school’s senior leadership team.

To deal with the expected revenue loss, Le Moyne will furlough some administrative employees beginning at various dates between late May and June 1. It did not say how many.

Le Moyne College President Linda Le Mura and the school’s vice presidents are also taking salary reductions, which are “greater than other employees.” The school is also continuing its hiring freeze.

Faculty and academic administration are also developing plans to increase full-time faculty workload.

“We deeply regret that, consistent with all other higher-education institutions, we must implement substantial changes to overcome these dramatic losses and position the College for an earlier, stronger recovery,” the email said.

Le Moyne recently received $2.7 million in funding from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to colleges and universities across the nation. The money was authorized by the federal stimulus law, called the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Fall semester

Le Moyne College officials “intend” to welcome a new class to campus, along with returning students, for residential in-class instruction this fall. But the college  acknowledges “that social-distancing protocols and possible developments in the region’s public-health condition will require us to teach and learn in new and flexible ways,” per the email.

For this reason, as the school plans to resume in-class instruction, Le Moyne will also prepare for a “successful transition to remote education should that become necessary,” the message read.

Any reopening presumes approval of the school’s plans by the offices of Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Social-distancing campus changes

Le Moyne is also planning for changes within its operations to “maintain the health and safety” of the college and regional communities.

They include reducing the density of people on campus, which will involve changing service and office hours and requiring a “substantial proportion” of administrative employees to work remotely.

The changes will also include practicing social distancing and other behaviors, which will include reducing space occupancy.

In addition, Le Moyne will work to minimize in-person events to those approved as “mission-critical,” eliminating and restricting travel to reduce risk of virus spread, and eliminating and restricting group activities, clubs, and meetings, per the email.

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