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The University of Delaware implements hiring freeze, other immediate cost-saving measures

A University of Delaware sign.
Delaware Public Media
University of Delaware
A University of Delaware sign.

The University of Delaware is tightening its belt.

The school is implementing a series of cost-saving measures and guidelines in response to increased costs it faces.

This comes a week after UD President Dennis Assanis requested additional funds from the General Assembly, including $34 million to cover an increase in health insurance payments.

The State of Delaware’s health insurance plan is projected to increase beyond the 10% planned for FY24 and a potential for a 27% increase in FY25.

“The financial magnitude of the short-term impact that we are facing in FY24 is projected to be in the $20 million to $40 million range,” said Assanis in a letter to UD faculty and staff.

The cost-saving measures are effective immediately.

They include a hiring freeze for all staff hires and strict guidelines for faculty hires, and a hold on all reviews of staff salaries and salary actions.

Faculty is asked to reduce or eliminate their use of external consultants and new contracts.

There’s also a freeze on all non-essential, University-funded travel, and stricter guidelines on the use of discretionary spending and putting on campus events.

Work on capital projects, like the demolition of the Christiana Towers, will be deferred unless they are financed from external sources or are nearing completion.

“In parallel, I am also asking our UD community to be proactive and immediately engage in strategic conversations focused on expanding the reach of our academic programs, as well as creating new revenue streams for the University,” said Assanis. “This is very important to effectively manage the projected, continued rapid escalation of benefit and other costs in subsequent years beyond FY24.”

The school says the cost-saving guidelines will be updated periodically as conditions change.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.