The Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco took a major turn yesterday after the former NDTV anchor penned a blog detailing how she fell for the phishing attack. Her blog provided some answers to questions that have been coming up but in the process, raises many more questions. And now, we have more reports related to Harvard University that only intensify the shroud of mystery surrounding the whole affair.
As early as April 2020, the Harvard University had announced that they were implementing an immediate freeze on hiring and salary. The decision was taken in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is pertinent to note that Nidhi Razdan had announced that she was joining the University as an associate professor in June 2020.
The Harvard Crimson, the daily student newspaper of the University, said that Harvard was “instituting an immediate university-wide salary and hiring freeze, cancelling or deferring discretionary spending, and considering deferring all capital projects.”
“While many decisions and choices will come into sharper focus in the future, it is already clear that we need to take some actions immediately to align our spending with the decline in our revenue,” a joint email from President Lawrence Bacow, Executive Vice President Katherine Lapp and Provost Alan Garber had said.
“Harvard, like other universities around the world, will not be spared the economic consequences of the pandemic,” they said.
The email had said, “Our major sources of revenue — tuition, the endowment, executive and continuing education, philanthropy, and research support — are threatened, and we expect to see increased demand for financial aid as the economic fallout from the pandemic hits family budgets.”
University officials had also floated the possibility of layoffs and furloughs. They said, “We’re still working to gain a more complete picture of the financial conditions of the university.”
“We will be scrutinizing the FY21 budget to determine what other steps are necessary to respond to the financial impact of the pandemic on our operations. We will communicate with you when more information is available,” the Harvard Crimson quoted them as saying.
“Some of you may be wondering why we can’t just dip into the endowment to support us through these difficult times. We do intend to distribute as much from the endowment as we responsibly can, but there are limitations to the endowment’s capacity,” Crimson quoted them as saying.
“Because of the recent declines in the markets, the endowment, while still large, is not as large as it was previously. As it shrinks, it has less capacity to support our existing operations, especially as other shortfalls in revenue sources loom.”
Thus, given the fact that Harvard University had announced in April itself that they were implementing a salary and hiring freeze, it is a wonder that Nidhi Razdan did not see or hear the announcement at all. According to her, she found out that the fake job offer was a phishing attack only this month.