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Yeshiva University Will Sell Off Buildings, Cut Programs To Relieve Budget Crisis

Yeshiva University announced sweeping budget cuts on December 10 in a sign of the deepening financial crisis at the beleaguered school.

The cuts, first reported in the Y.U. Commentator, the school’s undergraduate newspaper, include drawbacks on programming and the sale of real estate.

The university has also withdrawn a commitment to partially restore previous cuts in their contributions to faculty retirement accounts. In an email to faculty, university president Richard Joel apologized for the decision, but called it necessary.

Joel also announced that the he would cut his own salary, which was $855,000 in 2012, by $100,000. The school will also freeze the salaries of senior administrators.

Joel’s tenure has been troubled since 2008, when the university lost $100 million in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme and hundreds of millions more in the overall economic crisis.

A lawsuit filed by men who allege that they were victims of sex abuse at Y.U.’s high school in the 1970s and 1980s also threatens the university’s fiscal wellbeing. In October, the bond rating agency Moody’s downgraded the school’s credit rating in October.

The email to faculty Joel sent on December 10 described the cuts in general terms. According to The Commentator, a senior administrator spoke in more detail at a faculty meeting the following day, announcing that the school would sell 11 properties at its Washington Heights campus.

Joel asked that schools and departments within the university “identify areas for both immediate and long term budgeted expense reductions.”

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