Financial Impact of New Fall Plans

August 10, 2020

As we shared recently, to protect the health and safety of our GW community we made the difficult decision to transition GW courses online this fall, with very limited exceptions. We know that this change has presented yet another challenge in your planning, and we are thankful for everything you are doing to ensure GW fulfills our core academic mission.

While we are preparing for fall, in this new fiscal year we also are continuing to comprehensively review our finances. Due to the recent adjustments to our plans, we now anticipate a gap of $220 million between expected revenue and expenses this year.  This amount is more than double what we anticipated when addressing our financial situation in June.

As a result, we need to take an additional action of temporarily suspending the university’s base and matching retirement contributions, effective in October. Faculty and staff will continue to have the ability to make personal contributions to their accounts.

We understand that this is disappointing news coming at a time that is already stressful and difficult for our community, but we are taking this step to continue to protect the university’s core academic mission. We want to emphasize that this suspension is temporary. We will reevaluate this action in December as we assess our financial situation following the conclusion of the fall semester.

Additionally, as previously announced, reviews and restructuring of administrative unit functions and staffing are underway, with the goal of completing these efforts by the end of August. These efforts include very difficult decisions about position eliminations and layoffs that have taken on additional urgency given the financial implications of our fall scenario. Those directly affected are being notified as actions occur. Within the academic enterprise, we are continuing discussions with the deans and faculty leadership on financial mitigation efforts.

Finally, as you know, we note again that the pandemic and its effect on our financial situation have been very fluid. We expect we will need to implement additional temporary measures to address the budget gap, and we will notify you of any decisions as soon as they are made.  In all of our actions, we will prioritize the safety and care of our community and preserve our core academic mission. 

Once again, we remain grateful for your understanding and resilience, and, of course, for your dedication to our students and our entire university community in these unprecedented times.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. LeBlanc, President

M. Brian Blake, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Mark Diaz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer