Securing Our Financial Future Friday, April 17, 2020, at 9:50 a.m.

To Jacksonville University faculty and staff --

I hope all of you are safe and healthy and withstanding this crisis well. I realize many of you are managing a long list of responsibilities, both personally and professionally, and I am grateful for your extraordinary effort and dedication to our University and our students during this challenging time. We have never been here before and it’s a time that calls for our empathy and humanity. If there is a bright spot we might choose to focus on, it’s the gift of more time with those we love, which has a way of realigning our perspective.

This crisis will touch all of us in some way. Whether it's the virus itself or the repercussions of our country in economic turmoil, none of us are immune. Our senior leadership team is working hard right now to fully understand the impact of this evolving situation and how our University can best navigate what lies ahead. We are conducting a strategic review of our operations and finances that is both thoughtful and comprehensive. Our current financial reality and future projections paint a picture unlike anything we’ve faced during our time working together.

All over the country, stay-at-home directives from elected officials and global health experts are in place. As a result, we are seeing a significant change in our financial profile. Revenue-generating events, facilities and services, such as the Orthodontics Clinic, are closed. Summer study abroad programs are cancelled, summer housing is closed for new and returning students, and summer camps scheduled for June are cancelled. These are just a few of the revenue streams that have evaporated. This is the new reality at every university in the country. While it is too soon to know the full extent of the revenue loss, it is clear the financial impact will be severe and prolonged, but we will overcome it.

It is our firm goal, as best we can, to insulate our students from these burdens. To persist through the unprecedented challenges on the horizon, we must all be aggressive in reducing our costs. I am enacting the following measures to strengthen our financial position in the short term and ensure we can continue providing an exceptional education for students:

All spending is frozen through June 30. Any essential spending must be approved by a Senior Vice President.
All hiring is frozen through June 30. Any essential hiring must be approved by a Senior Vice President.
All travel is cancelled through June 30. Any essential travel must be approved by a Senior Vice President.

As we work to ensure the continued academic excellence of this institution and support the overall student experience, please be aware that all reasonable options are on the table. If necessary, we will implement more serious steps to ensure our University is in a position to thrive. Know that we will emerge on the other side of this stronger and better prepared to face the future.

I thank each of you for your hard work and diligence in this effort. Please stay safe and take care of yourselves.

Tim Cost
Jacksonville University
Class of 1981