Twelve staff positions will be cut as the Seminary of the Southwest attempts to trim $1 million from its operating budget, according to a letter from the Very Rev. Douglas Travis. A press release is here.
A source close to those in the restructuring effort said no faculty members are losing their jobs, and the curriculum would not be affected.
A letter sent by members of the Seminary's board to alumni reads in part:
Dear Seminary of the Southwest Alumni:
As alums of the seminary and members of the Board of Trustees, we join with Dean Travis in sharing his Open Letter to the campus community, alumni, and friends. This news will be hard to receive, but we believe these actions are absolutely necessary at this time to secure and preserve the seminary in this economy. The difficult decisions we approved at a special board meeting on November 13, were done with careful thought. As many of us have already experienced in the lives of our parishioners, in our dioceses, and in our congregations, the deep recession is forcing a lot of difficult decisions. In fact, over the past two years, virtually every other Episcopal seminary has had to take similar - and equally challenging - steps.
Our goal in this process is to strategically and significantly pare expenses to assure our ability to continue offering all current degrees and certificates, minimize the impact on our students - and maintain our attractiveness to prospective students - in both the MDiv and CCMV programs, and give us time to move forward with the fund raising necessary to secure Southwest for the future. This fund raising is in two areas: First, a $14 million capital campaign to increase funds for scholarships and fully endow all core faculty positions; and, second, expanding the donor base and the size of the annual fund to support operations.
We are keenly aware that these actions impact our community, and deeply touch the lives of those individuals whose positions are being eliminated. However, given the magnitude of the market decline on our endowment, we believe this was the prudent action in order to protect the institution.