The Need for Multigenerational Workforce Strategies during the COVID-19 Crisis

Higher education leaders tasked with determining whether to reopen campuses in fall 2020 or spring 2021 face a myriad of challenges. With dramatic budget reductions, decreased tuition revenues, reduced state support, and declining enrollment, a shock wave of staff layoffs and furloughs has ensued. Decisions are being made about closing academic programs and departments and potentially even terminating tenured faculty. For example, Ohio University announced three successive rounds of budget cuts that resulted in the layoff of 53 non-tenure-track positions and elimination of 94 administrator positions, 140 unionized positions in dining and maintenance, and 81 other classified and administrative positions. In another example, the University of Alaska Board of Regents voted to reduce or eliminate more than 40 academic programs, including undergraduate majors in sociology, chemistry and earth science as well as graduate programs in English, biochemistry, and management information systems.

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