Five divisions at the University of Wyoming will bear the brunt of 37 staff layoffs occurring throughout the week as the final part of a $10 million permanent reduction plan for fiscal year 2018. So far, UW has eliminated 332 positions, almost entirely by eliminating vacant positions and offering separation incentive packages to tenured faculty. These layoffs will bring the total to 369.

“These layoffs are an unfortunate but necessary step for the university to meet its required reductions,” UW President Laurie Nichols says in a news release detailing the layoffs.

The Office of Information Technology will eliminate 15 positions, while the Office of Academic Affairs will eliminate 12.

Administration will eliminate five positions, Student Affairs will eliminate three and the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs will eliminate one.

Additionally, the university will lay off one at-large employee.

The eliminations will save the university $3.02 million in fiscal year 2018, about half of the $5.91 million in reductions allocated to specific divisions.

The Office of Information Technology’s large share of the layoffs is because of a consolidation effort recommended by Huron Consulting Group, which looks to bring the various IT functions of the university under one — more efficient — roof, said Chad Baldwin, UW director of institutional communications.

“We have had the central IT unit, of course, that provides service to people across campus, but then in addition to that, there have been IT people scattered out among the various units who aren’t part of the IT department,” Baldwin said. “And what you’re seeing here, reflected in these layoffs is basically the achievement of those efficiencies.”

Layoffs in all the affected divisions will be challenging for the staff who remain, said Rachel Stevens, data and communications manager for the School of Pharmacy and staff senate vice president.

“For some time, there’s been some limited information about the coming layoffs on campus,” she said. “And so, of course, staff have been concerned and anxious about where those are occurring.”

Stevens said these layoffs will compound the difficulties faced by divisions who already saw losses during the vacancy eliminations.

“In some units, there have been intentional reorganizations where the staff members and supervisors are sitting down and talking about what the duties are and how to reassign them in a way that makes sense,” Stevens said. “But in many cases, that’s not happening.”

And while the Office of Information Technology has known of its 15 layoffs for some time, Stevens said many staff were upset by a lack of transparency or shared details.

“The plans that were presented from Academic Affairs didn’t give much information as to which colleges were going to be including staff layoffs in their budget reductions,” Stevens said. “So, that’s where there was a real lack of clarity.”

Baldwin said the process was as public as it could be — with information shared by the fiscal crisis committee and by the Board of Trustees — while respecting the privacy of the employees being eliminated.

“To have described those specific jobs in a public setting before today would have been unfair to those individuals,” he said.

Baldwin said the president was confident the divisions affected by these layoffs would be able to absorb the responsibilities previously performed by eliminated staff.

“That confidence stems from the fact that these recommendations came from those managers themselves who know their units probably better than anybody,” he said.

(7) comments

Pragmatist
Pragmatist

How about a 15 - 20% pay cut for top admin starting with the president and provost and their respective staffs?
Then cut the president's ridiculous travel schedule and budget. There is no reason she needs to be flying around hob-nobbing, only to return to Laramie and boast about it while telling how busy she is.
You can't cut your way out of this crisis. You should try improving the school's academics and the campus culture so that it attracts more students and makes more families want their kids to attend. The campus, though beautiful, has become a moral and religious desert or wasteland where traditional values and standards of conduct are shunned and openly criticized. As just one example, attend a football game and sit in the student section. The outrageous conduct, including public drinking and drunkenness, coupled with foul language that would make a sailor blush, are enough to discourage any parent from sending a son or daughter here. And such behavior is further encouraged by the music played over the PA system, which encourages violence and sexual violence and drug use. No wonder the retention rate for freshmen is around 70 percent. That means fully 3 out of ten decide this place is not worth returning to.
If this place doesn't get turned around fast, the only students UW will attract are losers who can't go anywhere else.
None of this is the fault of staffers. All of it is the fault of admin and faculty.

waitasec
waitasec

Unfortunately, this conduct you refer to is shared on campuses throughout the country. Even the Greek system is confirming a system of debauchery. The question people should be asking is "What am I going to get for $100K?" and start treating all educational institutions like a service oriented business. "If I don't get the product promised, then I want my money back." A 4 year degree from anywhere is just about worthless and is essentially a huge waste of money. How many recent graduates across the country are jobless, with no marketable skills, and severely in debt? Here's an idea: 4 years mandatory military service for everyone out of high school. Learn a trade. Then if you want to continue that trade, go to college for advanced training.

packerpoke
packerpoke

Good points.

Entropy
Entropy

My goodness, at times your ignorance astounds me. "A 4 year degree from anywhere is just about worthless and is essentially a huge waste of money".

Every credible published study examining this question proves you wrong. Dead wrong. Average annual and lifetime earnings are increased significantly with a college degree, likelihood of having health insurance and health coverage is significantly increased, all health indices (obesity, cardiovascular disease, addiction issues among them) are on average significantly improved, reported job and career satisfaction is significantly improved, asset portfolios are significantly improved, average life expectancy is increased significantly, and on and on.

You claim to work at UW in some academic capacity? Man. You need to go. You're likely filling young minds with garbage.

waitasec
waitasec

Please share what you deem as a credible and published study.

JSAnderle
JSAnderle

Here are a couple...

Carnevale, A. P., Rose, S. J., Cheah, B., & Georgetown University, Center on Education and the Workforce. (2011). The college payoff: Education, occupations, lifetime earnings Distributed by ERIC Clearinghouse

Rose, S. (2013). The value of a college degree. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 45(6), 24-33. doi:10.1080/00091383.2013.842101

packerpoke
packerpoke

Good points.

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