Emory Report
April 20, 2009
Volume 61, Number 28


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April 20
, 2009
Division resizes to fit reduced resources

By Ron Sauder

As part of the University’s overall response to the reduced resource environment, the Division of Campus Services is eliminating 47 positions — 19 of which are currently vacant — in order to achieve a $2.5 million decrease in the facilities and campus services budgets for FY10. With construction and project work slowing significantly and overall revenue growth the lowest in memory, Campus Services and other administrative units are resizing to stay within the University’s reduced resource base.

Severance packages were offered to 26 employees based on their years of service. All were offered full continuance of their health care benefits for six months, and all are eligible for rehire as well as unemployment benefits. Two employees are being offered retirement options.

The changes are effective April 17 but all employees will be paid through the end of the month, in addition to their severance packages.

“The loss of valued employees who have given much to the University over the years is extremely painful to all of us,” says Bob Hascall, vice president of Campus Services.

In the wake of the worldwide economic downturn, Emory, like all colleges and universities, is being required to make very difficult choices about the reallocation of resources in order to ensure excellence in its academic mission and enrollment of the very best students in the face of a rapidly escalating financial aid budget.

Hascall and his executive team have implemented many cost-saving measures to reduce the impact on staffing, but the budget target could not be met without some job eliminations. Department employees themselves identified over 250 cost-cutting initiatives, which are currently being implemented. The division curtailed all new hiring, severely cut its annual equipment budget, reduced overtime usage by nearly 20 percent, eliminated its Emory-funded annual picnic and holiday celebration expenses, and made plans to reduce the size and operating expenses of its vehicle fleet. Additionally, many individual departments have identified other operating efficiencies and cost-cutting initiatives and their implementation is under way.

The reductions in force are distributed among Campus Services’ campus planning, facilities maintenance, and warehouse operations and include both exempt and non-exempt positions. The division had 825 employees prior to the reductions.