Western New England University employees laid off due to budget deficit

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Layoffs have hit a local private university.

Facing a budget shortfall — Western New England University in Springfield has parted ways with 22 staff members.

It’s a mix of voluntary buyouts and non-voluntary layoffs. None of the layoffs involved professors. Benefits were also cut.

The university announced they are reducing retirement account matching contributions by 2%, along with reductions in life insurance coverage and long term disability.

University Spokesperson Barbara Moffat told 22News the reductions were made with no impact to the quality of education.

“As we do every year, take a look at what our projection are for budget, revenues and expenses,” Moffat said. “And we are always trying to make sure that we are offering to our students and our families the best education at the most affordable price possible.”

Moffat pointed out the recent significant investment Western New England University has made in new academic programs and services, technology and facilities like the new dining common.

She said student enrollment is at an all-time high and said they remain very strong financially.

University President Anthony Caprio sent 22News a statement that reads in part, “The University remains focused on its top priority: to provide a high quality and affordable private education to all current and future students.”

President Caprio told staff members about the budget concerns back in November, but didn’t say there would be layoffs.

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