Valparaiso University lays off 200, cuts pay of others over virus

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Valparaiso University has laid off 200 employees and has cut the salaries of others to save money during the coronavirus pandemic, the school announced. The northwestern Indiana institution previously announced that its law school will cease operations at the end of this semester after more than 140 years.

The university furloughed 154 full-time employees and 46 part-time employees, it said in a news release. The layoffs began Thursday.

Staff that hasn’t been furloughed and earning at least $48,000 annually will have salaries cut 2% or more, depending on the level of pay, The Times of Northwest Indiana reported. Other faculty will be encouraged to take voluntary pay cuts that match the scale of reductions taken by others. University President Mark Heckler has taken a 30% pay cut.

The layoffs are expected to continue through July 31, the university said.

“The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has impacted every sector of the global economy and society at large, including Valparaiso University,” its news release said. “With stay-at-home orders extended until April 20 and other states beginning to extend those orders into May and beyond, the uncertainty about when campuses might return to normal operations continues.”

The university first announced in mid-March that it would suspend in-person learning for at least a month as higher education institutions across the country took steps to close campuses in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. A week later, it announced it would extend remote learning through the end of the spring semester, closing residence halls and canceling spring events.

The university has plans to extend its distance learning through its summer terms, a university spokeswoman said.

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