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Dear Marquette colleagues,

Today is a challenging day for our Marquette community, and one that will test our campus. As I shared in my letter to you in early August, the ongoing turbulence in higher education is affecting Marquette. Over the summer, deans, vice presidents and vice provosts were asked to submit recommendations on how to manage costs and improve efficiencies. The goal was to determine proactive solutions to remain financially strong, realizing we cannot continue to increase tuition at our recent pace because the burden is too great for our students and their families.

During the past month, university leadership thoughtfully reviewed the cost management proposals. This week, 24 of our staff colleagues are receiving the difficult news that their employment with Marquette has ended. These decisions were made with great care and discernment. Change is always hard, and it is especially hard when it impacts people we care about. We are grateful for their service to Marquette.

Just as we focus on our mission during the hiring process, we also take great care to ensure it is present when we part ways with our colleagues. Out of respect for the dignity and livelihood of each person, every eligible colleague is being offered a severance package that includes extended pay and benefits, career transition and outplacement services, employee assistance program services, and spiritual support through the Office of Mission and Ministry. Those with a child currently utilizing Marquette’s tuition assistance or FACHEX tuition exchange programs can continue to do so until the conclusion of those in-process degrees.

Our cost management review process also included evaluating vacant positions to determine if work could be combined, changed or discontinued. This week’s reductions, along with not filling 49 current and future vacancies, will result in a total decrease of 73 positions across the administrative, academic and athletics areas of our campus. This is 2.5% of our current 2,926 faculty and staff.

Moving forward, we do anticipate we will resume hiring and filling vacancies for roles that serve our students and support growing academic programs or strategic areas of focus within our strategic plan, Beyond Boundaries. However, all new positions will undergo a cross-disciplinary review process. While we do not anticipate additional near-term university-wide personnel reductions, just like any strong institution, we must remain vigilant about responding to market conditions in our industry.

In addition to staffing changes, several organizational changes are being implemented immediately to increase efficiencies:

  • The Division of Student Affairs has formed a new Office of Engagement and Inclusion, which combines the Center for Engagement and Inclusion (the former CIE), the LGBTQ+ Resource Center and Student Involvement, Activities and Greek Life into one integrated office.

  • The College of Education’s structure is being evaluated through an inclusive process aimed at achieving new efficiencies. Graduate degree programs in high-demand areas will also be explored.

  • The Marquette University Police Department has reorganized into two functional areas to remove role ambiguity and better serve the campus community.

  • The Graduate School and Graduate School of Management are centralizing enrollment management functions to more efficiently deliver services for graduate students.

All of us are impacted by today’s news in some way. The process of balancing cura personalis, care for the whole person, and cura apostolic, care for the work and the enterprise, requires constant assessment and adaptation, and it is almost never without tension.

I know today’s events will raise questions and uncertainties about the future. No matter what happens within our industry in the months and years ahead, the leadership team across campus will always be committed to our Catholic, Jesuit mission. Our mission sets us apart from other universities and also binds us together on our toughest days.

Thank you for everything you do for our students, our world and the greater glory of God. Please keep all members of our Marquette community in your prayers.


Dr. Michael R. Lovell

Marquette University

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