BREAKING NEWS: Staff faces layoffs

Rachel Abbey

A round of layoffs occurred Friday in a cost-savings measure by the university. The cut affected staff employed by the university, said Scott Rainone, assistant director of University Media Relations. Faculty was not affected.

Departmental rumors said 49 positions would be cut, but Carolyn Pizzuto, vice president of Human Resources, denied the number. She would not specify exactly how many positions were cut, explaining that the university would make a formal announcement Monday when President Carol Cartwright returns from a meeting in Indianapolis.

The university has often mentioned the $6.5 million deficit it faces in the next two years, Rainone said, and lay-offs have always been a possibility.

Deans, directors and administrators have spent the past three months examining ways for the university to become more efficient, including the elimination of positions, Rainone said.

“We need to protect the core academic function of the university,” he said.

Employees have been notified of the cuts. Affected employees have a 90-day period until the elimination of their position, Rainone said.

The 90-day period has been established by the university for unclassified staff, Pizzuto said. Conditions of employment for classified staff are determined by the Ohio Revised Code, which requires a shorter period of notification. However, Pizzuto said, the university has in the past given both divisions of staff members a 90-day notification. Pizzuto said they will continue to do so.

Exact numbers of affected employees and cost-savings are not yet available. Such computations are difficult to make, Rainone said, because classified employees have “bumping” rights, allowing them to replace lower ranked employees.

The displaced employees will have five days to use their own bumping rights, Pizzuto said. This process can continue for three to four weeks.

“It’s a very unsettling process for everyone,” she said.

Contact academics reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].

Editor’s note: The Stater will publish the names and positions of staff members facing layoffs as soon as the university responds to a submitted public records request.