• Doug Most

    Associate Vice President, Executive Editor, Editorial Department Twitter Profile

    Doug Most is a lifelong journalist and author whose career has spanned newspapers and magazines up and down the East Coast, with stops in Washington, D.C., South Carolina, New Jersey, and Boston. He was named Journalist of the Year while at The Record in Bergen County, N.J., for his coverage of a tragic story about two teens charged with killing their newborn. After a stint at Boston Magazine, he worked for more than a decade at the Boston Globe in various roles, including magazine editor and deputy managing editor/special projects. His 2014 nonfiction book, The Race Underground, tells the story of the birth of subways in America and was made into a PBS/American Experience documentary. He has a BA in political communication from George Washington University. Profile

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There are 28 comments on Facing $96M Shortfall, President Brown Announces Layoffs, Furloughs

  1. $100 million/250 employees = $400,000 per employee? Who knew that we are paid so much!
    Seriously speaking, there are quite a few departments that are overstaffed and have nothing to do. BU needs to hire an efficiency expert who could evaluate management qualifications and business know-how.

  2. BU has a $2.3- $2.5 billion endowment. They can surely use a small fraction of this to save jobs and avoid layoffs. Also, many employees (Including myself) have donated annually to the Giving Day fund. BU wasn’t shy to receive money from their employees- is this how BU will treat and repay them now with layoffs?

    1. Agree 100000% – as a potentially incoming student, seeing this news was extremely disappointing and makes me question how much BU truly values the important members of its academic community. Reduce highly paid administrators’ salaries!

    1. Some Billion Dollar pet projects are sacred. Even though the University will shrink as a result of reduced enrollment and employees, even as the existing infrastructure crumbles, we must build enormous new facilities.

  3. No one should be laid off or furloughed until President Brown and other highly-paid leaders take pay cuts down to zero. That’s leadership.

    1. I have to agree with this statement. I feel this should be the case across all organizations and companies that are impacted by COVID-19, leadership and upper management should be the first to take salary cuts before lay-offs.

  4. Boston University has an endowment of $2.31 billion. Knowing how much they pay their staff members, they would likely need no more than $1.5 million to keep all 250 people employed. BU would need approximately the same amount of money as the President’s annual income to keep these 250 staff members, with responsibilities and lives, from losing their jobs.



  5. BU has a significant spending/management problem that should have been fixed long before COVID-19. Here are some ideas:

    Reduce the number of administrators by half.
    Stop the insane building spree. We do not need posh buildings to do world class research.
    Eliminate useless/marginal departments/colleges whose only function is to take money out of middle class families.
    Reduce tuition by expanding the student base in strategic areas (STEM) recruiting more domestic students.
    Downsize non-academic activities (sports).
    Use the endowment to support BU employees.

    Without fixing the structural problems created by years of bad management not amount of layoffs/cuts will be enough.

  6. Why is the construction of the new building not halted for the time being ? If employees are going to get laid off who’s going to occupy and maintain the building.

  7. Let’s face it Boston University community, BU is not the world class elite university we all thought or were led to believe. Layoffs, furloughs, and suspension to retirement benefits , are horrendous tools in attracting and retaining world class elite talent. I may potentially expect these type of moves after several years of hardships and difficult times not a few months. There are plenty of smaller and larger universities then BU who are sticking by there employees, not abandoning them. I hope these decisions by BU do not affect the world class reputation and rankings I once thought BU deserved and that we all worked hard for. BU strives to be the best they should start acting like it and weather the storm like so many other colleges and universities seem to be doing.

  8. Does BU not plan for rainy days? Years or surplus and BU can’t make it one year of hard times without cutting retirement benefits and laying off staff?

    Fiscal Year 2018
    The Fiscal Year 2018 year-end financial operating results were much better than expected and represented a very strong outcome compared to prior fiscal years. The University’s Fiscal Year 2018 ended with funds of $188.2 million available for reinvestment. This balance compares to end-of-year balances of $180.3 million in Fiscal Year 2017 and $157.5 million in Fiscal Year 2016.

  9. As a BU alum this is why I will never donate a cent of my hard earned money to the university. They should have implemented basic cost cutting strategies years ago that would have kept the administrations bloated salaries in check and building spree under control. They need a consulting firm to do an audit and suggest where they can trim the fat instead of just having mass layoffs. How in the heck are they almost $100 million in the red after 1 single semester?

  10. I can’t believe this is happening. It isn’t right. As a monthly paid member of staff, I’d be willing to take a pay cut before seeing peers be furloughed or fired. Not to mention that there’s no information being shared about who is even being fired.

    1. Who are the idiots that decided to announce the furloughs and the layoffs a few weeks in advance? You care about your faculty and staff? Rightfully, a press release could have gone out after, not a few weeks before. No thought into how this would affect all employees. This was a HORRIBLE MOVE BY THE UNIVERSITY.

  11. Why can’t BU borrow money and service the debt on a long-term basis? They can build repayments into future years budgets. It’s what most businesses are doing.

  12. Was wondering if other options were explored before lay-offs were implemented. Maybe an early retirement package for the 60+ employees

  13. How much did all those testing robots cost? Are you trading robots for grad student stipends? Staff that are being fired or furloughed?

  14. Agreed with many of the comments and I’d like to add that as an “essential worker” who has been in the frontlines through this pandemic I think that cutting our retirement plan contributions and freezing salaries is not the best way to say “thank you for being there when all of us are working from home“, enough said.

  15. The highest unemployment rates this country has seen in DECADES and you’re firing people? From the looks of the other information coming out plus what people are sharing here you announced that you’re firing staff while simultaneously promoting faculty. Seriously? You should realize that it takes more than only faculty to keep you running successfully. It’s the staff that kept me on track to graduate. It’s the staff that checked in with me when I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel. Faculty don’t have the skill, care, or interest in connecting with students as individuals. Staff do.

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