Athletics announces reductions in staff

Elimination of 21 positions from administrative and service areas

Stanford Athletics will reduce its workforce by 13 percent, minimizing the impact to student-athletes while aiming to cope with an anticipated $5.4 million shortfall in revenue over the next three years.

The budget reductions include the elimination of 21 staff positions out of 163 in administrative and service areas, including facilities and operations, external relations, physical education and recreation. Coaching staff members are not affected by the cuts, nor are employees who are represented by bargaining units. Most staff reductions will take effect March 2.

"Our student-athletes are the heart of our programs, and we want to minimize any reductions which might have a direct negative effect on our ability to field championship caliber teams," said Bob Bowlsby, the Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics.

In order to minimize the impact on student-athletes, approximately $1.5 million has already been eliminated from the current fiscal year budget, primarily in administrative areas. Stanford Athletics has identified almost $2.5 million in programmatic budget cuts that include freezing open positions, mandatory use of vacation accruals, reduced facility maintenance and reduced travel expenses. In addition to reducing costs, Stanford Athletics is examining all potential sources for additional revenue, including ticket sales, multimedia rights and facility use fees.

Stanford Athletics' financial challenges mirror those being faced by the entire university. The campus administration is anticipating declines of 20 to 30 percent in endowment value this year, and has asked all campus units to plan for budget reductions of at least 15 percent over two years. Within Stanford Athletics, the targeted $5.4 million cut represents 9 percent of its operating budget excluding scholarships. The diminished yields in investments and endowment funds are expected to reduce revenue by at least $5 million over the next three fiscal years. In addition to the endowment losses, Stanford Athletics is also affected by reduced and less frequent giving from individuals, foundations and corporations as a result of the economic downturn.

"As there remains great uncertainty as to how deep and how long the economic downturn will be, we believe that the difficult decisions we have made to date will place Stanford Athletics in a prudent position to deal with the present challenges," Bowlsby said. "We are making every effort possible to preserve opportunity for our student-athletes and to protect the quality of our programs. As is the circumstance throughout the Stanford campus, we will continue to assess our budget projections and will make further adjustments as needed, which may include programmatic, staff and sports reductions."