End of month marks lay-offs for several

William Schertz

Job losses, changes to take place soon

Credit: Beth Rankin

Shani Pacheco struggled for words to describe how she found out she would be losing her job.

Pacheco, editorial communication coordinator for the university, stared intently at her desk for several moments, then finally looked up and spoke.

“It’s shocking,” she said. “That’s really all I can think to say.”

Pacheco will be one of 28 university employees to lose their jobs on July 29 as a result of budget cuts made in May to help cut costs at the university.

“It’s really unfortunate, but layoffs are about business decisions, not personal decisions,” she said. “I actually feel sorry for the people that had to break the news to me because I wouldn’t want to be in that position.”

Pacheco said she has not found another job as of yet, but is looking forward to her future.

“I’m excited about where I want to go,” she said. “I have a personal goal of finding a professional position that allows me to be creative and improve myself.”

Whereas Pacheco and most others will be laid off at the end of the month, seven other employees, including secretary Joyce Taylor, were either placed or reassigned to vacant positions.

Taylor used to work in Continuing Studies and has since been moved to the vice president of Administration’s office. She said she found it ironic that she was initially going to be laid off.

“What’s funny is I’m getting my degree at the end of August, so I was going to leave anyway,” she said.

Taking advantage of free schooling, Taylor has taken several classes a semester at the university, but says her new job is making things harder on her.

“I’m worried about taking one class and doing this job,” said Taylor who started her final class Monday.

Taylor said her new position requires the same amount of work as an administrative secretary, but that her pay rate has not changed.

“No one’s ever sat down with me and given me a job description,” she said. “I can tell you that the level of work I’m doing here is much more than a normal secretary level.”

Taylor said she misses the lighter work load that came with her former job, as well as the sense of stability she had while working there.

“I knew what I was doing over there. I had everything set up to where it was running very smoothly,” she said. “I’ve been in this job for a month and I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing.”

Taylor, like Pacheco, said she can understand the point of cutting positions to save money, but doesn’t know why the university made most of its cuts at the clerical end.

“We were all wondering, ‘Why wasn’t management being let go?’” she said. “If it’s about money, they make more, you know. How much money are they actually saving?”

Taylor noted an e-Inside Management Update specifies pay grade increases for several positions. This was sent out the same week that the lay-offs occurred.

“The actual people that go out the door make the least amount of money,” she said. “It’s sad that higher education is run like a business rather than an institution that’s supposed to create the new leaders of this country.”

Contact general assignment reporter William Schertz at [email protected].