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UNC system lays off 270, cuts another 600-plus positions

Posted September 17, 2009

— The University of North Carolina system has eliminated more than 900 positions across its 16 campuses in recent months to offset lower state funding, officials said Thursday.

More than 95 percent of the cuts – 866 positions – were administrative jobs, officials said. About 40 faculty jobs also were cut.

UNC-Chapel Hill seal Scores of UNC employees laid off in Chapel Hill

"We've been focusing on administration from the beginning of this," UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp said.

Officials said 270 people have been laid off across the university system, but it was unclear Thursday how many other people were affected by the cuts. Some people who had both administrative and teaching duties had the former job cut but remain on faculty.

"The campuses – the chancellors – have done a very good job managing this crisis," said Rob Nelson, the UNC system's vice president for finance. "We will be looking to see if there are other administrative positions, particularly senior administrative positions, that we can eliminate during the year."

UNC President Erskine Bowles said he knows of at least 66 positions targeted for elimination in the coming months.

"I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the future of this university (system) – and I believe the economic future of North Carolina – hinges on how efficiently and effectively we get this job done," Bowles told members of the UNC Board of Governors. "I can guarantee you we have a team here that's dedicated to doing it and doing it right."

North Carolina State University eliminated 206 positions and 10 programs, while UNC-Chapel Hill cut 204 positions and state funding for nine programs. Those programs will continue to operate using funds from other sources, officials said.

North Carolina Central University cut 21 positions, while Fayetteville State University cut 18 and East Carolina University cut 83.

Thorp said about half of the positions cut on his campus involved laying off workers.

"These are difficult transitions for us, but we are trying to handle them as professionally as we possibly can, and we feel like we are making sure we are making changes in areas where we can continue to meet our service obligations," he said. 

Bowles also called for enrollment caps at campuses that don't meet graduation and student retention goals. He said the move would be aimed more at improving quality within the UNC system than at cutting costs.

59 Comments

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  • WRALblows Sep 18, 11:28 a.m.

    "Instead of all this talk about healthcare they need to focus on bringing jobs back to the USA."

    Special corporate interests are against this. It will not happen. It impedes their profits.

    Special corporate interests want to mold health care reform into greater profits. Therefore, the agenda stands.

  • WRALblows Sep 18, 11:24 a.m.

    Yes, even more solid evidence the recession is over. I feel better Bernanke. Tell your Wall Street cronies America says thanks. It's been our pleasure to give rich bankers all of our money. But wait...first impose another fine or bank fee. Then sir, may I have another? We're willingly bent over so don't disappoint.

  • JOBMO Sep 18, 10:04 a.m.

    alwaysconcernedmom WROTE: I thought the recession was over??? Isn't that what our wonderful leader is telling us?

    he did? I must have missed that one.

  • JOBMO Sep 18, 10:02 a.m.

    clickhere WROTE: "To answer NCpacker, they are not at the level you suggest, they are one lever lower. I'm not saying that my position was totally unnecessary to be cut, but mid-management is certainly an area to cut. My co-workers warned me when I accepted a new role at ncsu that I was setting myself up for being cut long term. My management did not support me and their rationale was to cover their own jobs. I succeeded but was not given credit for success, and then cut. What the"

    clickhere, Hey that's the way it always happens. I was laid off from UNC-CH in 2003. It's hard to understand the rationale especially when youi're the one getting the short end of the deal. When I got laid off I had a co-worker that openly ran his part-time business from his desk at work all day everyday, but he was allowed to stay. go figure....
    However in my case I can truly say it was a blessing in disguise. No hard feelings on my part.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Sep 18, 8:14 a.m.

    Were these real layoffs or the paper shuffle that the UNC system is so well known for. If your position loses funding, they lay you off from that program and rehire you under a program that has funding. It's amazing what you can do in the public sector that you can't do in the private sector.

  • clickhere Sep 17, 7:16 p.m.

    Chief3, read the rest of the comments, we're way beyond that in the State government layoffs. Republican2009, republicans, namely George Bush, caused this overall problem. There were something like 10 billionaires in this country in 2000, now there are 400+. Everyone else has lost money, haven't you? How can you be a republican?

  • chief3 Sep 17, 7:02 p.m.

    They have to get the folks off the payroll compleely to make a difference. Just to change job titles and leave the pay the same doesn't acconplish anything.

  • Barrackawack Sep 17, 7:01 p.m.

    Change has come people , it is here, enjoy it !

  • clickhere Sep 17, 6:31 p.m.

    agree with Balog, but that doesn't hit the problem. It's not the level that they are hitting, but the specific persons that have put in position that are protected - they are from FL and have different agendas, why were they let go from FL? What did they bring to NC? Nothing that I can see, and Our State suffered. (I've been here since 1975, off and on, my wife was born and "raised" here.)

  • balog Sep 17, 6:16 p.m.

    As far as I can see, most of the middle to upper management jobs at UNC/NC State have not been touched. They are the ones making the decisions on who to cut but of course they won't turn the axe on themselves.

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