Local News

UNC system cutting hundreds of administrative jobs

Posted August 31, 2009

— Budget cuts to the University of North Carolina system this year will result in the elimination of hundreds of administrative positions, the system's president said Monday.

Following a closed meeting with senior administrative staff, President Erskine Bowles acknowledged the need for chancellors across the 16-camups system to take decisive steps to target their assigned budget cuts on the administrative side of their operations to protect the academic core.

900 positions eliminated from UNC system 900 positions eliminated from UNC system

An early estimate of positions that could be eliminated is about 900, but it's still unclear how many of those are currently filled, said Joni Worthington, vice president for communications for the UNC system.

"This is not a new topic of discussion, as cutting administrative costs and improving efficiencies has been an ongoing focus since President Bowles took office," Worthington said.

Each UNC campus is cutting its budget by 10 percent. The new state budget decreases funding by 6 percent, and the universities must cut another 4 percent in case of more revenue shortfalls.

North Carolina State University has eliminated approximately 400 positions, interim Chancellor Jim Woodward said. Most of those were administrative, he said. Half were filled.

It was unclear how many positions were cut from other universities.

Administrative costs became an issue after a 100-page report released in July found that UNC-Chapel Hill's administrative expenses per student have grown faster than academic expenses.

The report said the Chapel Hill campus has 10 layers of management, in which more than half of supervisors oversee three or fewer people. Changing that structure could save the university up to $12 million annually, according to the study.

"We cut 86 positions last year, and we're in the process of making some more cuts," UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp said Monday.

Thorp said he has made the necessary cuts that Bowles has asked for but would not say how many more positions would be eliminated or from where they might be cut.

"We have more seats in classes this year than we had last year, even though we cut $60 million out of our budget, so that shows we're making cuts on the administrative side," he said.

Thorp added that the challenge remains how to make the changes work.

"This is a permanent correction and not just something we do to adapt to the economic crisis," he said.

35 Comments

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  • wilmingtonNC Sep 2, 9:38 a.m.

    Well, they held a forum here at UNCW & the Chancelloress pointed out that we were one of the most efficient cmapuses & Erskine doesn't really understand how important our administrators are so I guess we'll be cutting the little guys instead.

  • givemeabreak Sep 1, 4:31 p.m.

    well I lost my job today. I did notice my manager did not. WAY to go erskin.

  • givemeabreak Sep 1, 1:17 p.m.

    NOT ALL STATE WORKERS Sit and do nothing! I work my hind end off, and I am facing being laid off today....so give me a break people.

  • issymayake Sep 1, 10:40 a.m.

    BigUNCfan,

    That will never happen. The General Assembly won't risk their elected positions on such an unpopular premise. There's been talk of consolidation and renaming for years at many campuses and it's always been an unpopular proposition.

  • BigUNCFan Sep 1, 10:17 a.m.

    This state has too many universities. That sounds like a good thing but in reality it is just a lot of duplication. I don't think that other states live Va and SC have quite so many schools and the NC system. I may be wrong but I think we could cut out about 3 to 5 of these schools in the state system. They could still exist but either phase them into private universities or close them down altogether and consolodate their studends into other schools by making the remaining schools just a little bigger to accomodate the students. This would give economies of scale and save money as you could use the same resources for the larger student bodies.

  • Pilot Sep 1, 9:15 a.m.

    Hello Mr. Bowles, it's me again, sorry. I just have one more request: When the cuts are done, could we please see the name of the person who was cut and the exact position he/she/it held while in the Employ of us CITIZENS of North Carolina. Thanks in advance.

  • NeverSurrender Sep 1, 9:11 a.m.

    "I know it looks good on paper but can someone tell me how doing away with an UNFILLED JOB saves any real money. "

    ---

    In the UK, eliminating unfilled positions was not only fed to the press as a saving on salary but also a saving administrative overhead associated with the employee (insurance, accommodation, etc.). Some departments in HM Government would have the gall to claim a saving on redundancy payments (the dole queue) as well!

    Too bad the rest of us cannot live in their dream world of accountancy where you can print all of the money you want and spend to oblivion...

    Someone was lamenting it taking the Noise and Disturber to find 900 redundant positions. Frankly, what we should really be lamenting is the fact that they found a 10-layer useless bureaucracy at UNC-CH and the knowledge that they probably didn't find anywhere close to all of the featherbedding in the system (much less state government as a whole).

    All the more reason the State Personnel Act should go!

  • WHEEL Sep 1, 8:30 a.m.

    I know it looks good on paper but can someone tell me how doing away with an UNFILLED JOB saves any real money. Perhaps UNC should establish more unfilled positions to eliminate thus solving the budget crisis. Like the mythical FOO bird that flies in ever decreasing circles until it flies up...., you know the rest of the story

  • mimser Aug 31, 7:32 p.m.

    It's taking from Peter to give to Paul. Sure a lot of positions could likely be eliminated, but for each person that is terminated,that's another person that goes on NC unemployment right? We're still going to be paying them for doing nothing.

  • wiseowl Aug 31, 7:20 p.m.

    there are entire buildings of people at UNC-Chapel Hill who do nothing but file their nails and chat on the phone all day.

    i am sorry that they some may be losing their jobs, but they have to have understood they were surplus to requirements. sweet gig while they had it.

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