Census results cause cuts, need for budget re-assessment


Kiersten Riedford

President-elect Robert Manuel speaks to student media during a press conference in May.

Due to a lower enrollment rate than anticipated by DePaul’s Joint Council, the university will be experiencing facility maintenance halts and potential “salary adjustments,” and other budgetary re-assessments according to an email sent to faculty and staff members by DePaul President Rob Manuel and Joint Council on Monday.

The communication said the potential cuts are largely due to the graduate student population being lower than anticipated. As of now, the university has not publicized these documents, and no current enrollment data is available. 

Students receive scholarships more often as undergraduate students from the university’s endowment so the graduate students’ tuition makes up a sizable portion of DePaul’s annual budget since they often pay tuition in full. This has caused funding for some facility maintenance to potentially halt. 

It is unclear if this will impact on-campus student workers, who were not not included in the list of email recipients.

“We have identified several priorities we can use to address current financial realities,” the message said. “Actions we are reviewing include deferring non-urgent facilities maintenance, selling underutilized assets, examining strategies to increase retention, and considering organizational connections that could improve efficiencies. We will also ask each area to think about ways to slow down spending in their operating budgets to assist with the questions we are facing. We will focus on being as protective as possible of salary adjustments, securing positions around the university, and maintaining the academic quality DePaul is known for delivering.”

This discussion is reminiscent of pandemic budget cuts. Faculty and staff feared they would experience pay cuts or be laid off.

“In essence, we are asking you, along with our Board of Trustees, and our various leadership groups, to have this difficult conversation with us again,” the email said. “But this time, we will ensure that the short-term changes are paired with a comprehensive plan to establish mid- and long-term changes that will allow for the flourishing of this institution for which we all care deeply.”

The message stated that those with questions should reach out to the Joint Council.