News and Events
President Benton Announces Fiscal Restraint Measures
In a letter to Pepperdine faculty and staff Tuesday, Nov. 11, President Andrew K. Benton reported on how the University is handling the current worldwide economic crisis. “What we know is manageable," he said. "It is what we don’t know and can’t control that is of greatest concern.”
President Benton noted that as was the case generally with universities around the country, “We have experienced loss in our endowment, but that shortfall will correct in time,” adding, “It is also true that thousands of Americans are losing their jobs and consumer confidence is ebbing. Exactly how these events will impact enrollments is unknown, but we believe they will.”
Expressing the gravity of the worldwide economic condition, President Benton wrote, “To date, our fundraising is holding up well, but if the economic downturn continues for a long period, that will change. The single greatest unknown, obviously, is how long this situation will last. As is becoming more evident day by day, the downturn is significant and worldwide. The University must respond to this reality now.”
In reporting on steps Pepperdine is taking as a result of the economic downturn, President Benton said that the University has funded all elements of the present construction taking place on its Malibu campus, but that it is suspending all further projects including improvements to the Firestone Fieldhouse until a later date. He added the University will examine carefully any new construction, planning, or refurbishment project and look at cost-saving measures including deferring virtually all discretionary projects.
While reporting the cost-saving measures outlined in his letter, President Benton underscored that the impact on Pepperdine students should be negligible. “We must focus attention, especially now, on enrollments, financial aid, student services, fundraising, and alumni. We will manage the budget issues well in order to protect and even enhance the student experience. That must be our commitment.”
He summed up the current situation this way: “Our plans for the future deserve our best efforts. We must not let this economic downturn slow our progress. I anticipate a thorough examination of priorities and asset allocation in our planning and budgeting. This process will involve all of us, and it will depend upon all of us.”