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Medaille College eliminates 7 administrators

Medaille College has laid off seven administrators to help cut expenses during these tough economic times.

Medaille eliminated three managerial-level jobs in its business office and four in college relations, Medaille President Richard T. Jurasek said Wednesday.

"We will be taking additional measures," Jurasek said. "That doesn't necessarily mean layoffs."

Medaille officials did not publicly identify the administrators, or how much the cuts will save the college on Agassiz Circle, but noted that the school since last summer has been more aggressively evaluating its expenses, as well as revenues from enrollment and fundraising.

The situation, though, takes on more urgency given the nation's economic downturn.

While Jurasek said fall applications to Medaille are up, colleges across the nation -- particularly the more costly private institutions -- are concerned about how the recession might impact their enrollment.

"The economic stress is accentuating the need for us to behave strategically," Jurasek said. "It is our prediction the country hasn't seen the bottom of this yet. We're not going to wait to be backed into a corner or forced to be reactive."

Medaille -- which has nearly 2,900 full- and part-time students -- is not the only college laying off, Jurasek pointed out.

A recent survey conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education, a national publication for college faculty and administrators, shows one in 10 colleges recently laid off employees, with another 26 percent considering it.

Besides eliminating some jobs and redeploying resources, Medaille put a freeze on hiring and cut spending throughout the college, officials said.

"We're not going to wait and simply count receipts for customers that pass through the front door," Jurasek said. "Those higher-education institutions that build or adjust their budgets simply based on the number of students who are enrolling at that moment are the institutions that are at profound risk."

e-mail: jrey@buffnews.com

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