Drexel University has laid off "several dozen" administrative employees as a result of a new admissions policy that brought in fewer freshmen for the fall.
University officials declined to specify the number of layoffs or how many vacant positions were eliminated, but said the move - along with other cost-cutting - will save $18 million. No faculty members were cut.
The employees were to be dismissed by Wednesday.
"When we made the conscious decision to take a smaller class size to increase quality, we knew we were going to have to cut administrative costs," said Lori Doyle, senior vice president for university communications. "So this is not something that took us by surprise."
About 20 percent of the savings will come from vacant positions and 30 percent from layoffs in enrollment, finance, institutional advancement, human resources, and university communications, and the provost's and president's offices.
The rest will come from reductions in travel, printing, outside consultants, and other areas, Doyle said.
The job cuts follow an announcement by Drexel in May that it would delay raises for employees from the summer to the beginning of the next calendar year, also to cope with less revenue.
Drexel president John A. Fry, in an e-mail to staff last week, lamented the personnel losses but said they were necessary.
"I will not minimize how difficult this process has been," Fry wrote, "for the talented professionals who lost positions and the colleagues who valued them. I want to reiterate, however, how we have positioned Drexel for sustainable excellence going forward."
The decision to reduce applications this year was an effort to focus on serious and qualified applicants. The university announced in January it would add a $50 application fee and eliminate its "VIP" fast application, which required neither an essay nor recommendations.
In 2014, only 8 percent of students who were offered admission enrolled, a very low yield.
As a result of the recent changes, applications were halved, and Drexel's yield rate rose to 13.7 percent, with an uptick in the quality of accepted students based on SAT scores and grade-point averages, according to Drexel's enrollment chief, Randall Deike.
As a result, the incoming class by late May was about 5 percent smaller than a year earlier.
As of Tuesday, 2,911 freshmen-to-be had committed to attend Drexel in the fall, but some could fall away before the first day of classes, a phenomena known as "summer melt."
Doyle said that summer melt was less than last year so far.