Pioneers, if you are not already aware, the university is in dire straits at this time.
We are currently facing a $9 million deficit. And the university is looking to cut $3 million in spending. Ahead of the deficit being reported, the top three administrators at Point Park—President Paul Hennigan, Senior Vice President of Finance and Operations Bridget Mancosh and Provost John Pearson—all took 10 percent pay cuts in the summer. Administrators are pinching every penny, nickel and dime to make sure, essentially, that the school doesn’t go under.
As some of you may already be aware, this has involved allegedly laying off several employees. Annie Cassin, the Director of Student Engagement, has been laid off. There is also wide speculation that many more assistants and adjunct professors have been and will be laid off in the next semester or so.
While we understand that the Point Park administration is in a difficult position, it is a little curious to us at The Globe how this is so much of a problem. Although the pandemic has obviously cut enrollment back and students paying for room and board on campus, we have seen annual spikes in tuition rates. That, along with the university’s existing endowment, are somehow not enough to help the university avert impending financial disaster.
The last thing we as students want to see is hardworking staff and adjuncts lose their jobs in this difficult time. Quite literally, beyond the students, they are what makes Point Park what it is. Without them, we would see a severe loss in the quality of education here at the university. And they are facing the same if not more difficulties as us during this pandemic: they are trying to stay healthy, and many of them pay rent or mortgage and have children whose wellbeing they are looking after. Should we not extend to them the same level of compassion and understanding we have for students?
Additionally, the fact that The Globe has had to dig for any information about the deficit and these reported layoffs is, quite frankly, an indictment of the lack of transparency from the Point Park administration. It should not take teeth-pulling to learn about the state of the university. We would rather know of the danger that the university is in than live in obliviousness and receive an email in the spring 2022 semester that the school is shutting down—a hypothetical scenario of course, but we honestly don’t know how likely it is because of the lack of communication.
At The Globe, we try to bring information to the community in the best means that we know how. All we ask is that the university try to do the same thing for its students and let us know what the future holds.