On August 14, seven faculty and staff members at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP) were informed that they were being laid off from the school because of budget cuts. The news, which came as a surprise to the employees who were let go, came 12 days before the school’s fall session was scheduled to begin.
“We were given no notification at all,” says Michael LaFarr, Psy.D., an alumnus of MPSPP who was on the school’s clinical Psy.D. faculty and the organizational and leadership faculty. He also served MSPP as the director of enrollment management and registration coordinator for the Clinical Psychology Department. “It was a complete and utter shock.”
The school has experienced a level of growth in the past few years that many attribute to the school’s president, Nicholas Covino, Psy.D. The former director of psychology and training at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for 20 years was brought on board in 2002.
Under his direction, the school has grown from offering one doctoral-level degree program to offering 12 separate master’s and doctoral degrees including those in forensic psychology, school psychology, counseling psychology and executive coaching. The school moved from its previous location in two buildings in West Roxbury into a new
space in Newton in August of last year, signing a lease with an option to purchase a six-story, 83,000-square-foot building. The school’s staff and faculty has also grown in that time from 42 to 137 and enrollment more than quadrupled, from approximately 130 students to more than 600.
The school issued a statement when contacted about the reductions in force: “In response to several redundancies in the organization, Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology recently made the difficult decision to lay off seven employees. While any reduction in force is distressing for the individuals involved, this move was necessary and has positioned the school for greater efficiency and fiscal responsibility.”
By Catherine Robertson Souter