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Feb 19, 2014 05:15 PM EST

(Photo : Wiki Commons) Marquette University in Wisconsin has announced Monday that the Diederich College of Communications has received a $3.5 million gift from the Bernice Shanke Greiveldinger Charitable Trust its oldest building on campus.

Marquette University in Wisconsin is laying off 25 employees in an effort to cut costs and create operational efficiencies so that the school will continue to be affordable, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Faculty members are not affected by this move to address the financial pressures facing the Catholic, Jesuit university. This is the university's first workforce reduction since the mid-1990s, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"I am sad to share that 25 of our Marquette colleagues have been told or are in the process of being told that their employment with Marquette has ended," Father Robert Wild, interim president of the university, said in a letter Wednesday to faculty and staff. "The colleagues affected by this news are wonderful people who have contributed well to the university."

Since the fall 2013, semester, Wild has often expressed concern about the financial strain on students and have said reducing it would require "consolidating work and emphasizing operational efficiencies," The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

"With families stretched to the limit in their ability to afford additional tuition costs, these challenging times require us to take difficult but necessary steps. Only by aligning our operations and resources with our fiscal realities can we keep a Marquette education affordable for our students," Wild said.

The reductions, combined with future employee turnover, retirements and not filling some current vacancies will reduce the university's total reduction of staff to approximately 105 positions out of their current employee base of 2,800 according to Wild.

"Decisions such as these are among the toughest we face as university leaders.  Although Marquette has operated with positive margins for the past 16 years, they have remained thin. The decisions announced today are steps we must take to ensure the university's long-term fiscal health," Wild said.

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