NU President Morton Schapiro.

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro says the school plans to freeze faculty and staff salaries for the coming school year as part of its response to financial pressures created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter posted on the school’s website, Schapiro says NU and other colleges across the country are facing a variety of challenges, including financial setbacks for families leading to increased need for student financial aid and declining financial markets resulting in reduced endowment yields.

In addition, he says Northwestern has lost more than $25 million in revenue from room and board and student fees refunded for spring quarter plus a loss of revenue from cancellation of many on-campus courses and programs.

He says he also fears that philanthropic aid may decrease, research funding may decline and enrollment in some programs may not reach pre-pandemic levels.

In addition to the pay freeze, Schapiro says the school will pause most facilities projects and new staff hiring and slow academic hiring and retention.

He says its unclear at this point whether financial adjustments will have to continue over the summer and into the school’s next fiscal year.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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