Among all the recent news of jobs cuts at financial firms like banks and brokerages, big manufacturers, including automakers and aircraft companies, as well as oil and gas behemoths, it should perhaps come as little surprise that a university is trimming its staff too. As it seeks to balance its budget, projected to run into deficit worth millions of dollars, the University of California, Berkeley, will reportedly cut about 500 jobs over the next two years.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks informed employees about the job cuts in a memo sent Monday, which said there would be “a modest reduction of 6 percent of our staff workforce,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
Faculty at the university, which employs about 8,500 non-faculty staffers, will not be affected. Dirks reportedly did not mention any layoffs in his memo but instead said that the workforce would be reduced at least partly through attrition.
However, the Chronicle reported that according to university spokesman Dan Mogulof, 60 employees were being laid off. Mogulof did not identify the departments the employees were from.
Dirks had warned in February of “painful” measures that the university would have to take to deal with a “substantial and growing” deficit in its budget, which officials at the time had said would be about $150 million, or 6 percent of the university’s operating budget, the Washington Post reported.
Financial support from the state has significantly reduced for UC Berkeley compared with the 1980s. State funding made up about 13 percent of the university’s operating revenue in 2014-15, down from almost 50 percent 30 years ago, according to the Post.
The news comes even as university donations in the U.S. reached a record high in 2015, crossing the $40 billion mark for the first time.