A projected $50 million dollar loss in revenues is projected by Mohawk College due to the pandemic and the result is a large number of layoffs to full and part time staff.
The college has reportedly laid off as many as 200 workers after a reduction in enrolment due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mohawk’s deficit will also be affected by the college’s increased expenses incurred as they provide personal protective equipment and other measures for students attending the Fennell and Stoney Creek campuses for practical instruction or lab work.
College chief operating officer Paul Armstrong said the college had originally forecast revenue of more than $276 million based on tuitions, parking, rentals and other student-related income and 15,000 full-time first year students. While enrolment numbers are still being calculated, the pandemic is expected to now decrease first year enrolment to about 13,000 including a 75 per cent drop in international students and a 10 percent drop in first-year domestic students.
As a result when the 2020-21 budget was being finalized in March (when the coronavirus pandemic hit), college officials were forced to drastically change their spending plan and all departments were asked for ways to save money.
In a move that is expected to save $15 million dollars, sixty-four full-time positions have been eliminated including 18 faculty and academic staff, 31 support staff and 15 administrative staff as well as 120-150 part-time/contract staff are being laid off temporarily. There are about 1,000 full-time faculty and other staff at Mohawk.
The college expects to save another $15 million by delaying dozens of initiatives including the three-year plan to install LED lighting at the Fennell and Stoney Creek campuses for a savings of $2.5 million and improvements to classrooms, fleet vehicle purchases and other capital improvements for a savings of $2 million.
Other projects on pause for now include: some IT projects and requests, global travel for students and the research skills development program for a total savings of $700,000.
The 2019-20 financial statement is expected to be made public in September.
As for other educational institutions, it is yet to be seen how the pandemic plays out.
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