University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced today the institution of a voluntary program in which the salaries of the University’s senior leaders will be reduced by as much as 20 percent with the resulting savings redirected toward student financial aid.
“In this crisis, we must do everything we can to ensure that no accepted or current students fail to enroll or return because they don’t have the money,” Father Jenkins said.
The savings will be deposited in a special Student Emergency Relief Fund, composed of senior employee donations and other private benefaction. It has been established to assist deserving students whose families face unemployment and other hardships stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I commend Father Jenkins and Notre Dame’s other leaders for making personal sacrifices to address the needs of our students during this crisis,” said John J. Brennan, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. “They epitomize those dedicated individuals who’ve contributed to the greater good throughout the history of Our Lady’s University.”
The University’s three executive officers, the deans, the vice presidents and leaders in the Athletics Department, including certain coaches, have been asked to reduce their salaries along a sliding scale of 5 percent to 20 percent for the highest compensated employees. To accommodate voluntary payroll reductions, the University will establish a special payroll deduction plan to start July 1 and continue through June 30, 2021.
Almost one-half of Notre Dame students received financial assistance last year in the form of need-based scholarships that do not require repayment. The median amount per student was $40,000 or about three-quarters the cost of tuition at Notre Dame.
Student financial aid has been Notre Dame’s top funding priority for more than 30 years. Beyond fundraising, one recent example of the efforts in this regard was putting savings generated by the University’s staff early retirement program last year toward student aid. Also, one-third of the endowment’s spending distribution is dedicated to student financial aid.