According to today's statement, this is the first time in UW history that the declining value of the endowment fund has led to layoffs. The majority of the Advancement office staff are paid by UW's Consolidated Endowment Fund, which according to the statement, has lost 25 percent of its value in the past year due to declining stock values.
"Sadly, this is the first wave of layoffs in the current economic climate that the university faces, but it is not likely to be the last," said UW President Mark Emmert.
In addition to the layoffs - effective May 1 - the Advancement office will eliminate 36 currently vacant positions. In total, 20 percent of the office's staff will be affected by this move with the expectation that doing so will save $6 million from its $30 million annual budget.
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Here's the full UW press release