Mercyhurst University confirmed today that it is imposing a one year university wide salary freeze. University officials based the decision on a decline in enrollment and other trends facing Mercyhurst and other U.S. colleges and universities.
Schools across the country are reporting enrollment declines as a result of national economic influences and a declining demographic of high school graduates. Sources say in the spring of 2012 there was a drop of 9,000 high school graduates in Pennsylvania. That represents a 7% decline in the prospective pool of college applicants.
In a statement Mercyhurst officials said, "The sacrifice, made by all employees, will enable the university to adjust its budget without sacrificing the investments it is making in new academic programs and equipment, student and faculty research and new facilities that enhance the educational experience of its students."
University officials called the wage freeze a difficult decision for Mercyhurst saying the school has given annual salary increases even during the worst of the recession. They say the decision will best position Mercyhurst for the future.