The dean of Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences said he will reduce the number of professors in an effort to balance a $110 million deficit.

Dean Michael Smith told The Harvard Crimson student newspaper the cuts would come by leaving vacancies unfilled and through early retirement packages.

The scale of the reduction hasn't been determined.

There are 720 associate professors and professors in FAS, an increase of 20 percent since 2000. The faculty grew during last year's hiring freeze, which Smith said was the result of job offers that predated the school's financial troubles.

Harvard's largest-in-the-nation endowment shrunk by nearly $11 billion in fiscal 2009 from a high of $36.9 billion.

FAS is largely the university's undergraduate professors.