LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --  Seven staff members in the University of Louisville president’s office were told they’d be laid off on Tuesday – one of a number of ways the university is trimming expenses as it expects to face a $48 million shortfall in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The university administration also plans to cut two vice provost positions and even eliminate food for “regular business meetings,” according a presentation delivered to the Faculty Senate on Wednesday.

U of L is on track to finish the fiscal year ending June 30 under budget, but the school faces a $48 million “structural deficit” in the year that begins July 1, Interim President Greg Postel told the board of trustees last month.

“We are removing unnecessary expenses from every area we can find,” Postel said.

U of L spokesman John Karman said after the seven layoffs initiated Tuesday are complete, the president’s office will be down to five people, whereas it once had “20-something” staffers under former President James Ramsey, who took a buyout last summer.

Total faculty and staff should decline by 10 percent next year, Postel told the board on Feb. 16. That will be achieved not through large-scale layoffs but by not filling the vast majority of positions that come open each year through resignations and retirements, which Postel called a “hiring frost.”

Part of the university’s upcoming budget challenge is that contributions from its nonprofit foundation are expected to be “adjusted dramatically” and the organization works to understand the “true value” of its assets, Postel said last month.

The foundation, which oversees U of L’s endowment of about $715 million, is currently undergoing a “forensic audit” of its finances with results expected in May.

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