The University of Texas System has eliminated 50 vacant jobs and will offer buyouts to retirement-eligible workers amid funding concerns, according to a memo sent to hundreds of employees.
Chancellor Bill McRaven offered details last week to workers, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Only essential positions are currently being filled, McRaven said, as part of a "soft" hiring freeze.
"I want to be very candid with all of you," McRaven wrote. "We are also looking at a Reduction in Force (RIF) that may occur after we determine the extent of the voluntary separation. If it is determined in September that RIFs are necessary, we will work extremely hard to ensure those being considered are notified as soon as possible and treated with the dignity and respect that is the hallmark of this system."
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UT System spokeswoman Karen Adler says no target numbers have been decided for buyouts or possible layoffs.
The system itself had 763 employees as of last fall, she said. That includes some positions not on the state payroll and some jobs funded by the system but housed at UT System campuses.
The eight-campus system includes the flagship Austin school, plus six health campuses. The institutions have enrollment topping 221,000. The campuses have more than 20,000 faculty members and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisers and support staff, according to the UT System website.
About 40 programs and projects previously funded by UT System regents are being assessed, according to McRaven. A portion of the freed-up money will be redirected to his initiatives dubbed "quantum leaps," which include a new campus in Houston and a network of national security specialists.