The Coloradoan reports today on the latest round of job cuts announced at Colorado State University. The university’s engineering department plans to slash 5 percent of its budget this year, or roughly $700,000. Among the cost-cutting measures, the department would eliminate six existing jobs and significantly shrink the rolls of teaching assistants, who conduct the lion’s share of lab sections at the school.
Today’s announcement won’t be the last of its kind from CSU. The university’s departments will be posting plans in waves over the next month as the university wrestles with record budget shortfalls.
The university reportedly plans to cut 40 engineering department employees this summer — even as it prepares to hire its first-ever stand-alone chancellor, a new top administrative position that observers estimate will cost CSU hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in salaries and benefits. The official salary and the office budget is scheduled to be announced in June, when the sole finalist for the chancellorship, Joe Blake, is set to step down as president of the Denver Chamber of Commerce and into the executive position at CSU.
In April, former CSU financial officer Gerry Bomotti said he thought the decision to create a new top executive position at the university was simply bizarre.
“Money is so tight this year, it’s no time to be adding administrative layers,” he said. “A conservative [university] board would normally be looking to seriously cut administrative costs.”
The Coloradoan on today’s announcement from CSU:
[The] plan published by the [engineering] college… also calls for laying off staff, eliminating some vacant positions and reorganizing how work gets done in an effort to cut hundreds of thousands of dollars from its budget. The plan also calls for faculty to “charge” portions of their salary to their research work.
“These position abolishments are attached to real people,” Dean Sandra Woods said. “These are people that are very good people we’ve employed a very long time, and it was a very difficult decision.”[…]
Six jobs are scheduled for elimination or time reduction under the plan. State law requires administrators to post a plan for reorganization before reorganizing so workers can offer suggestions. And in some cases, more senior employees can “bump” lower-ranking people out of their jobs.[…]
The plan also calls for abolishing several computer support-related positions, including one position in which the current worker performs small construction projects and furniture moving as well as delivering packages to individual departments.
“Packages will have to be picked up in the central mailroom,” the plan says.