NEW ORLEANS -- Loyola University has laid off 27 staff members and will do away with 21 vacant positions as the Uptown school continues to grapple with budget woes due to low enrollment. Another 12 faculty members accepted buyout packages.

Interim Provost David Borofsky announced that news Friday in an email to faculty and staff obtained by WWL-TV.

The layoffs came even as the university’s enrollment appeared to be steadying and even showed signs of growing.

Borofsky’s email said that first-year enrollment deposits are up 33 percent, attendance at orientation reached 100 percent and retention was projected to reach 81 percent, up four percent from last year.

But, Borofsky wrote, some “cost efficiencies” had to happen as the university works to find ways to increase revenue.

“Choices regarding employee reductions do not come easily, and in a community as close-knit as ours, change is often felt deeply,” he said. “Our guiding principles in making these decisions included a commitment of stewardship of our financial resources and the objective of reinvesting in our highest impact opportunities.”

Those laid off are receiving severance packages.

Borofsky said a town hall meeting would be held in August to answer questions.

The Catholic university has struggled financially since 2013 when 200 fewer students than expected enrolled, creating a budget gap of $25 million, according to The New Orleans Advocate. A $5 million gap remains unfilled.

The Advocate reported that roughly 800 new students had committed to attending the university in the fall, the most since the budget problems began four years ago.