With income down 25 percent, the Jewish Theological Seminary said it would fire 16 staff members, cut salaries of employees making more than $60,000 and not rehire non-tenured faculty. But that still leaves the institution with a $5.5 million projected deficit for the 2009-2010 academic year.
“The gap has to be closed,” Arnold Eisen, the chancellor, said in a letter to the seminary community. “The board of trustees has made it clear that we must come as close to the goal of a balanced budget as humanly possible. Our well-being as an institution depends on it.”
He said in an interview that there would be fewer course offerings and larger classes next fall and the same number of students. And for the first time, students in the cantorial school would have some joint classes with those in the Reform movement’s School of Sacred Music.
Eisen said the seminary would hire an outside consultant to “jump start” a strategic planning process for the years 2010 and beyond.
He does not foresee anything as dramatic as the move by Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, which is considering closing some of its campuses. But, he said, there is a “need to cut and a need to preserve” for the future.