Dear Emerson Faculty,
As a world, a nation, and a College community, we have navigated a very challenging and, for many families and individuals, a devastating year filled with personal loss. Emerging from the crisis caused by the pandemic, the Emerson community enters this new fiscal year with deep gratitude for the collective efforts made to ensure our institution maintained its academic excellence, and with optimism that the worst of the pandemic, financially speaking, is behind us. Let there be no doubt, Emerson suffered through one of its worst financial challenges since the Great Recession, with more than $32M in revenue losses. In addition, in order to fully and comprehensively ensure the health and safety of our community, the College invested approximately $14 million more on COVID-related expenditures, most notably on our robust and highly successful testing, contact tracing program and additional essential health-related mitigation measures to significantly de-densify our campus by expanding our residential and teaching spaces through arrangements with nearby hotels.
By joining together as a community, and by adopting significant cost-alleviating measures and practices, the College was able to meet these challenges head on. We fully recognize that this achievement was made possible by the sacrifices of many, which helped to protect the health, wellness and, notably, the jobs of Emerson staff. While we cannot regain the financial losses we suffered, we offer our heartfelt thanks to the entire community, including all those whose tireless and enduring efforts helped lead us academically, operationally, and financially through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within this financial context, we would like to make the following important compensation and benefits-related announcements:
- As of August 1, the College will resume its 403(b) programs, in full, with employer matching and employee mandatory contributions resuming at pre-pandemic levels. This means that as of August, Emerson will again be making deposits into all eligible employees’ 403(b) accounts and will resume withholding the 3% mandatory contribution required by our plan.
- Also, as of August 1, the College will resume its monthly transportation and parking benefit. This means that each month, for all eligible employees, Emerson will again be subsidizing the cost of employee commuting and/or parking up to $84.50 each month.
- As of August 1, we will also resume providing $2,500 annually for faculty development funds, while leaving any accumulated amounts intact.
- Sabbatical applications will also resume according to the normative Handbook timetable. More information will follow.
Once again, we greatly appreciate the many sacrifices of our faculty this past year and hope that this announcement provides some comfort to our community for brighter days ahead.
With much gratitude,
Bill Gilligan, Interim President
Michaele Whelan, Provost
Paul Dworkis, Chief Financial Officer