TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona Athletics Department announced Monday that it will eliminate 21 full-time positions due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a statement, the workforce reductions are the result of "financial difficulties."
“Today marks a difficult day of very tough decisions for our athletics department,” said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. “I have a great sense of empathy and compassion for the members of our Wildcat Family who are impacted by these decisions. These challenging economic times have affected all of us. We’ve spent months exhaustively looking at all of our financial models and forecasts. We waited until all the information was available to make informed financial decisions about our economic stability this year and in the future.”
In addition to the full-time positions being cut, Arizona Athletics will also be freezing 15 positions that became vacant during the financial crisis.
The athletics department says it has taken the following additional steps to ensure financial stability:
- Compensation reductions and salary savings: $3.6 million for this fiscal year. This reduction includes participation in the University of Arizona’s campus-wide furlough program, hiring freeze of vacant positions, and workforce reductions with a potential permanent savings of approximately $2.3 million
- Reduction of overall administrative expenses, which reduced spending by $8 million
- Anticipated reduction in overall sport expenses, which reduced spending by $5.2 million
- Additional operational and facility expense reductions, which reduced spending by $3.2 million
- Restructured debt for fiscal year 2020-21, which is anticipated to save $10 million for this fiscal year
“I’d like to recognize the athletics department and Dave Heeke in their efforts to take their financial obligations serious during this global pandemic,” said University of Arizona President, Robert C. Robbins. “We all share the responsibility of effectively managing our resources to ensure we can effectively recover from this crisis.”