American University has notified its 94 cleaning employes that it is replacing them as of Jan. 10 with an outside cleaning firm that will work for the university on contract. University officials said the move has been contemplated for some time and is designed to save money.

A university spokeswoman said the employes were notified Monday and will remain on the payroll through Jan. 26. The spokeswoman said the university and the contractor, United Services Inc., are helping the employes find new jobs.

Milton Greenberg, the university's provost, said last night that "we were hoping for about half" of the current employes to be hired by the contractor, "but we don't know." Officials of United Services could not be reached last night.

AU officials said that United Services, a Washington-based, minority-owned business, held a cleaning contract at the University of the District of Columbia and that other private universities here also use outside cleaning contractors.

Officials reached last night said they did not know the cleaning staff payroll but said use of the outside firm was expected to save $250,000 a year. One source estimated the university has an annual budget of $65 million and a full-time staff of 1,400, including 400 faculty members.