UT System Announces Freeze on Non-Faculty Hiring;
Chancellor to Urge Keeping Executive Salaries Level
University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., has announced a systemwide flexible hiring freeze for non-faculty positions and plans to recommend to the UT System Board of Regents a freeze of senior executive salaries at all 15 academic and health institutions and the UT System Administration.
The hiring freeze is effective immediately and is anticipated to remain in place through August 2010. The chancellor also plans to recommend a senior executive compensation freeze for FY 2010 to the UT System Board of Regents’ compensation committee and the full board.
The decisions were made after consultation with the campus presidents and senior UT System officials. The proposed executive salary freeze would include the chancellor, the 15 campus presidents, the executive vice chancellors and vice chancellors, who have all agreed to the plan.
“The leadership of the UT System and its institutions are keenly sensitive to the current economic climate, which has touched every corner of our great state and nation,” Dr. Cigarroa said. “Just as Texans are tightening their belts, so must we.”
Dr. Cigarroa directed UT System institution presidents to implement a flexible hiring freeze immediately for all current and future vacant non-faculty positions. A flexible freeze permits institution presidents to decide locally which positions should be frozen and to issue guidelines to ensure that positions critical to the ongoing mission of the institution continue to be filled.
“Institution presidents will have the ability to determine what positions are mission-critical for immediate and future hiring to maintain the teaching, research, health and patient care services provided by the institution. I am not dictating to them what positions to fill — only that the hiring decisions be carefully scrutinized at the appropriate level of the institution,” Dr. Cigarroa said.
Dr. Cigarroa also asked presidents to work with their respective provosts and deans to carefully review faculty recruitment initiatives.
“Faculty and staff are critical to the success of all UT institutions and it is important that we strive for organizational effectiveness such that we remain in the position to attract national and international talent to our institutions, thereby advancing excellence and benefiting our students,” Dr. Cigarroa said.
Additionally, Cigarroa called for the campuses to convene task forces to review and enhance organizational effectiveness, productivity and cost containment measures.
In recent weeks, the UT System has taken steps to reduce travel, including trimming 20 percent of systemwide meetings requiring travel.
“We feel it is necessary that the UT System and its institutions continue to do their part to examine their campus operations and identify savings that could contribute to a solution to the state's economic challenges,” he added.
A Message from
These are times of great financial uncertainty, and many of us feel uneasy. I want to share an update on how UT Dallas is responding to this challenge.
Despite the difficulties we face, UT Dallas is doing well. Our proven growth places us high in priority for state funding. Our tuition lock-in programs, instituted in 2007, likewise position us well. Our budgeting within the University has been prudent. We demonstrate excellence and high productivity as well as efficiency in operations. Student applications for UT Dallas are running well ahead of last year. Opportunity to recruit talent at all levels is very strong.
The value of UT Dallas to our region and state has never been better appreciated or understood. In short, we’re doing better than ever.
While our success positions us well, we are not immune from the economic situation surrounding us. We are facing a need to address financial constraints. In days and weeks ahead, we can anticipate discussion at the state and system level about plans to contain costs. We are actively involved in those conversations and are providing leadership in developing U.T. System strategies. Some budget reductions will likely be necessary, but I do not anticipate any major shifts at this time. Rather, we’ll continue taking measures to reduce discretionary expenditures such as travel and consulting contracts, carefully review all vacant positions to see which can be left unfilled for now, examine summer school offerings for efficiencies, and seek reductions in overall administrative costs through further efficiencies. I will be meeting with UT Dallas students, staff, faculty, and leadership teams to seek input and to answer questions.
What we will not give up is our capacity to innovate or our focus on excellence. This is the essence of UT Dallas and the wonder of our people. I am determined that when times get better – and they will – UT Dallas will be in a stronger position than ever to become the great university that this region and state needs us to be.
David E. Daniel