By Ted Nesi
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE â€“ Brown University said this weekend it will cut jobs and increase its total cost nearly 5 percent next year, to more than $51,000, as the school deals with the impact of the recession on its finances.
The decisions were made Saturday at the annual winter meeting of The Corporation of Brown University, the schoolâ€™s governing body. Brown President Ruth J. Simmons, now in her 10th year at the schoolâ€™s helm, also announced she plans to remain at the university at least through the 2011-12 academic year.
â€śWhile the economic environment for higher education remains extraordinarily difficult, the Corporation and administration are absolutely resolved to â€¦ continue to invest in the core elements of Brownâ€™s academic excellence,â€ť Brown Chancellor Thomas J. Tisch said in a statement.
The value of Brownâ€™s endowment dropped 27 percent to $2.02 billion in the fiscal year ended June 30, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
The Corporation voted to raise Brownâ€™s total undergraduate fee â€“ which includes tuition, room and board and other charges â€“ to $51,360 for the 2010-11 school year, up 4.5 percent from this yearâ€™s $49,128. Financial aid budgets will be increased, as well.
The school also plans to enroll slightly more undergraduate students by accepting 30 transfer applicants, raising total undergraduate enrollment to 5,895. The freshman class will not be expanded.
In addition, graduate tuition will rise 4.9 percent, and medical school tuition will increase 5 percent. Tuition accounts for half of Brownâ€™s annual revenue.
Brown said it would cut an unspecified number of jobs, some of which will be eliminated by leaving vacant positions unfilled and not replacing retirees. â€śWith the budget now approved, senior administrative officers will determine in the coming weeks which positions will be phased out,â€ť the university said in a statement.
Last year, Brown laid off 31 employees and left 36 jobs vacant after cutting millions of dollars from its budget for the current fiscal year, while 139 employees took an early retirement offer late last year.
Faculty and staff also will be eligible to receive merit and equity raises next year. The university instituted a wage freeze and a hiring freeze this year.
Brown had 3,787 full-time and part-time employees at the end of last year, according to Providence Business News data.
Brownâ€™s leaders approved a total operating budget for 2011-12 of $786.6 million, an increase of 3.9 percent from this fiscal year but $30 million less than the university had planned to spend.
The university reduced last yearâ€™s budget by $35 million and plans to reduce projected spending by an additional $30 million between fiscal 2012 and 2014.
Separately, the Corporation voted to begin work this year on the new Alpert Medical School building in Providenceâ€™s Jewelry District; a combined fitness and aquatics building at the athletics complex; and new creative arts and campus centers.
The Board of Fellows also voted to create a new Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences in July.
Additional information is available at brown.edu.