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Guidance on Essential Hires and Spend

Dear Colleagues,

As we work together to address the University’s budget challenge for fiscal year 2023, part of our strategy will be to limit hiring and spending to only those positions and expenditures that are deemed essential to the core mission, functions and strategic imperatives of the University. While we must reduce expenses wherever possible, please know that Drexel remains committed to ensuring that faculty and professional staff have what they need to do their jobs and deliver on our promise of providing an excellent education for our students. With that in mind, we are writing to provide hiring managers with guidance on what is meant by “essential” hiring and spend.

Hiring Is Limited to Essential Positions Only

  • Any positions that are 100% funded from external sources (i.e., grants)
  • Any positions that are contractual obligations for the University (must be submitted with documentation of the contractual agreement), such as:
    • Positions that are mandated by a grant agreement.
    • Positions that are mandated by a gift/endowment agreement.
    • Positions that are mandated by a start-up commitment in a faculty contract (although, if there is opportunity to delay, this will be discussed with the Provost).
  • Any positions that are critical for revenue generation (hiring departments must show that the positions need to move forward immediately and demonstrate their direct relation to revenue generation)
  • Any positions that are critical for basic operations, defined as follows:
    • Eliminating the position or delay in filling the position would jeopardize the teaching or research mission of the University.
    • The position is legally mandated, and a decision not to fill the position would result in penalties to the campus.
    • There would be financial or reputational damage if the position were not approved.
    • The position secures the safety of the campus for our students, faculty and professional staff.

To ensure a full and efficient review of job requisitions and offer cards, all job requisitions must be accompanied by a Professional Staff Business Case Form [PDF].

Positions that are identified as non-essential will be placed on hold through the end of FY2023 and can be re-reviewed in FY2024 if the hiring department still wishes to move forward.

Please note that this rubric does not apply to faculty hires, including adjunct faculty hires; however, all efforts should be made to identify efficiencies in course scheduling to reduce costs.

Non-Essential Spending Is Prohibited

Essential purchases are those that are critical to and necessary for the core academic and business functions of the University now, or the continuation of those core functions in the future. Such purchases include goods and services that directly support instruction, research and critical University infrastructure. Cell phone purchases and new stipend requests are generally considered to be non-essential. Business cases demonstrating the rationale for requested purchases may be required prior to requisition processing. Events should be limited to those deemed essential to the University's core business.

Per Drexel’s COVID-19 Essential Travel Guidance, non-essential University travel continues to be prohibited and will be evaluated for approval once a Travel Request has been submitted through Concur. We recognize there are situations in which University-related travel is necessary and cannot be postponed, whether it be for an academic, research or business-related purpose. Please continue to follow the guidance outlined on Procurement Services’ website.

Human Resources, Procurement Services, the Office of Budget and Financial Planning, and the Office of the Provost continue to work together to support individual departments, colleges and schools in making the best financial decisions possible as we seek to address current budget challenges. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your HR Business Partner, Procurement Services, your Budget Office representative, or the Provost’s Office of Finance and Administration.

We are grateful for your understanding, flexibility and dedication to Drexel, our students and each other.


Helen Y. Bowman
Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Operating Officer

Paul E. Jensen
Executive Vice President
Nina Henderson Provost