Faculty/staff Q&A

Q&A–Protecting Employees

Posted on January 24, 2009

In response to my last post about how we are faring amidst the financial crisis, I received a question that focused on one of the goals I set out for next year’s budget.  I had written that one goal is “To protect employees wherever we can;” and the question posed to me by e-mail was:

“So are you promising that no employees will lose their jobs or is the phrase “wherever we can” a window to permit potential layoffs?”

I just don’t think any responsible person can make promises as we face such economic unknowns right now.  Here’s what I can say with confidence:

  • We are not now facing circumstances that would invite job cuts;
  • We don’t currently see impending circumstances that would require us to look at job cuts.

What if we saw a precipitous drop in multiple enrollment areas and a looming budget deficit?  Then everything would be on the table and at that point we would look to work collaboratively with the Association, the Senate, and UBAC on the best ways to proceed.

I did say in my earlier post that we will continue to look at programs for the ways they provide support or raise the profile of the university.  This is a process we started last year when we made hard decisions around our Laconia Center and pulling back the Partnership Program.  We will continue to see where contraction in one area might allow us to shift resources (including staff) to areas of growth or investment.

These are good questions and I welcome others.  The more we can share accurate information and engage the community in this conversation the more we can replace anxiety with understanding.

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