University lays off 100 professors due to COVID

William Paterson University will lay off 100 full-time faculty over a three-year period, including tenured professors.

Decreased enrollment during COVID was a leading factor in this outcome.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into its third year, William Paterson University is now laying off 100 full-time faculty over the next three years. 

The university, located in Wayne, New Jersey, originally planned to let 150 professors go before union negotiations revised the number to 100, or 29% of the institution’s 340 faculty, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Thirteen tenured professors lost their job at the end of 2021, according to the outlet. 

Colleges and universities across the nation have faced financial hardships due to COVID-19. Decreased enrollment is a contributing factor because institutions rely on tuition payments for their budgets. 

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Overall, enrollment is down 2.6% from 2020 and 5.8% since pre-pandemic levels in 2019, National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reports. 

Those numbers are even starker for the undergraduate population. Undergraduate enrollment is down 3.5% since last year and 7.8% since 2019. 

William Paterson University, which experienced a 14% enrollment decrease between 2011 and 2021 according to Inside Higher Ed’s reporting, is currently operating in-person classes for the academic year after Jan. 30. The university does require indoor masking and vaccination. 

Heavy restrictions and upended classes have proven to be disastrous for students, according to a study published in BMC Psychology, an open-access, peer-reviewed journal.

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In the article, the researchers investigate the link between mental health and the isolation of remote learning. 

Campus Reform covers universities’ restrictive COVID-19 policies as well as their effects on students.

As of this writing, Yale University is not permitting students to patronize local businesses or eat at local restaurants, even if outdoor seating is available. 

At Princeton University, students cannot leave the county for personal reasons. 

Campus Reform reached out to William Paterson for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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