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The Next Chapter for Gordon: Shoring Up a Strong Future

Over the course of the 2018–19 academic year, the College has undergone a budget reset process—a hard but necessary step to a stronger financial future. The goal was simple: align expenses with revenues by reducing the operating budget by seven percent, while at the same time creating opportunities for future investment and new revenue sources. We have prioritized supporting our students through a consistently generous financial aid program, and in order to continue those offerings, we need to streamline our expenses elsewhere.

A measured, strategic approach

The College took a “ground up” approach to this reset process. Over the course of the year, a committee of 26 faculty and staff (the Priorities Committee) has devoted hundreds of hours to systematically wrestling through extensive market and institutional research to collaboratively imagine and vet options. Together, they determined priorities and recommendations in both academic and non-academic areas to achieve an overall budget reduction of seven percent (five percent which will be realized immediately in the 2019–20 academic year, and two percent which will be realized in the 2020–21 academic year). Because two-thirds of Gordon’s operating budget accounts is dedicated to compensation expenses, the budget reset solution inevitably required a reduction in positions. The committee’s recommendations were furthered vetted by Cabinet and ultimately approved by the President and Board of Trustees. Because of the strict parameters in place regarding personnel decisions (both legal and HR/personal privacy reasons), the College cannot disclose the names of individuals impacted; however, we are committed to caring for them during this transition process and have been able to offer generous separation benefits. Learn more about the Priorities Committee’s work ➔

Process timeline

August 2018: Academic Priorities Committee (APC) planning meetings, faculty workshop discussions

August 28, October 9: Faculty/Staff community meetings 

Through the fall: Briefings on FY20 budget planning in faculty meetings, staff meetings and department chair meetings

January 14, 2019: Board of Trustees formally initiated the institutional welfare financial review (to be completed by May)

January 17: Faculty/Staff community meeting; Priorities Committee announced and work began

March 28: Priorities Committee recommendations presented to Cabinet

April 3–4: Provost briefed Faculty Senate on recommendations

April 11–12: Tenured faculty notifications

May 2: Tenured faculty responses sent to Cabinet

May 6: Cabinet made recommendations to President

May 7: President shared final recommendations with Board of Trustees , who approved the recommendations

May 9–10: Final faculty notifications and staff notifications

May 10 and ongoing: Campus and stakeholder communications on outcomes of planning process and plans for the future


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