Boise State University Announces Layoffs Due To COVID-19 Pandemic

Sep 15, 2020

Boise State University President Marlene Tromp is announcing the school will lay off some portion of its workforce after the coronavirus pandemic punched holes into its budget.

In a letter to the campus community, Tromp outlined significant budget problems due to reduced events, a lack of sports and state funding cuts that have hit Boise State over the past few months.

The university has already lost up to $15 million after the postponement of fall sports, but could lose up to $30 million if football isn’t rescheduled.

“We can’t know with certainty when we will have a vaccine, more widespread and faster testing, better treatments or less restrictions, nor can we predict the impacts of any medical advances, including how they will influence people’s behavior and student choices,” Tromp wrote.

Some layoffs are pending, she said, though it’s unclear how many of the more than 2,700 full and part-time employees could be affected. The move comes after a round of furloughs for all professional staff this summer.

“Some of these may happen with more immediacy, depending upon the considerations in each unit,” she said. “There also will be places in which we will need to invest to secure a healthy future for our university.”

A request for comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Early enrollment data show that the number of undergraduate students actually increased slightly compared to last year, though it’s below pre-pandemic projections.

A 6% decrease in in-state students was offset by a rush of out-of-state students, Tromp wrote, attributing it to other university systems going fully online for the fall semester.

More graduate students have also enrolled at Boise State than the previous year.

“The financial challenges we are facing are serious, but could have been far graver,” Tromp said.

The mix of students is important, as out-of-state students pay nearly $25,000 in tuition per year – more than three times as much as an Idaho resident.

Final enrollment numbers will be released sometime in October.

Editor's note: Boise State Public Radio staff are employed by Boise State University, which holds our broadcast license, but we remain editorially independent.

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