Eisen announces more cuts at JTS


From the chancellor of JTS, Arnie Eisen:

June 15, 2009

Dear JTS Community,

In late April 2009, I reported that I had been working throughout the year with senior administration to resolve the budgetary problems imposed on us—and on all nonprofits—by the economic downturn. This work has not been easy. I shared with you then the steps we had already decided to take, and promised to come back to you once the Board of Trustees met to approve the final budget for 2009-2010. The board met last week. The major actions agreed upon in the board’s approved budget, particularly in regard to JTS faculty and staff, are outlined below.

Let me emphasize that the most precious resource of JTS is our people: our students, our faculty, and our staff. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated and talented individuals in our community, some of whom have been part of the JTS family for multiple decades. With this in mind, it was a high priority for both the administration and board to limit the impact of the budget cuts on JTS faculty and staff — and their families — as much as possible. While everyone at JTS will feel the effect of the steps we have taken, I want to assure you that we have tried to minimize the pain caused by the fiscal constraints in which we must operate.

The following decisions have been reached since I reported to you in April:

    * Two additional nonfaculty jobs have been eliminated.
    * Effective July 1, 2009, salary rollbacks will take effect:
          o The chancellor will take a 10 percent pay cut.
          o Individuals making more than $150,000 will take an 8 percent pay cut.
          o Individuals making $100,001-$150,000 will take a 6 percent pay cut.
          o Individuals making $60,000-$100,000 will take a 3 percent pay cut.
          o As I reported in April, individuals making less than $60,000 will receive no pay cut.

In addition, we were able to recognize additional savings and/or new revenue that reduced the deficit, including:

    * Increased enrollment with an associated increase in tuition revenue
    * Further reductions to departmental operation costs
    * Additional investment income from the endowment

As a result of these adjustments, and strong support from our Board of Trustees, we will go into the next fiscal year on solid financial footing. It is our hope, and will be a major priority as we prepare the budget for 2010-2011, to restore salaries to their current (2008-2009) levels and put the 403(b) matching retirement plan back into effect as soon as we can.

I thank you once again for your understanding and patience during this difficult period. I remain confident about the future of JTS, the excellence of our work, and the critical role we play in the Jewish community and beyond.


Arnold Eisen

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