Pennsylvania State University is implementing a “strategic hiring freeze” beginning this month through at least summer 2023 in a bid to balance its budget and save $250 million by 2025, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other state media outlets reported.
The university moved to freeze hiring in response to budget pressures related to inflation, flat state funding and a drop in enrollment, according to a university announcement. The university’s facing a projected deficit of $191 million and has used savings to balance the budget during the pandemic.
“This strategic hiring freeze is one tactic among many being taken to help meet the objective of a balanced budget by the summer of 2025,” university officials said in the announcement.
The Penn State Board of Trustees recently approved a 5 percent tuition increase for in-state students at its main campus and a 6 percent bump for out-of-state students. The university also is planning a 3 percent budget rescission for the 2022–23 school year. The budget cuts are projected to save the university about $46.2 million, according to a news release. The interim operating budget for 2022–23 stands at $7.7 billion.
The hiring freeze won’t affect critical positions such as those needed for safety, compliance and student success, according to the announcement. Student jobs, graduate assistantships or positions that are fully funded by external grants or contracts also won’t be affected.