Brianna Mulligan

In addition to eliminating empty positions and offering early retirement plans to cut 100 jobs, Miami University will be cutting about 100 employees from its payroll.

In an e-mail sent Jan. 23, Vice President for Finance and Business Services David Creamer announced the university will be making 200 job cuts in the next few months.

The cuts will help the university reach the $22 million budget cut administrators hope to achieve in the next fiscal year.

The e-mail was sent to clarify how many job cuts would be made in 2009, according to Creamer.

Previously, the university announced that 100 employees would be cut, but according to Provost Jeffrey Herbst, the university was always planning on making 200 total cuts.

Herbst said only 100 of these positions are currently filled, while the other 100 are already vacant.

“We’re trying to decrease the number of employees who get notifications,” Creamer said. “That’s where the hiring freeze and the retirement incentives are examples of things we are doing that will count towards the cuts we are trying to make.”

The cuts will be made at the Oxford, Middletown and Hamilton campuses, with each campus undergoing similar protocol in deciding which positions should be eliminated.

According to Creamer, the cuts made at each campus will fluctuate.

“The effect of the budget issues on all three campuses will vary the impact on employees from campus to campus,” Creamer said.

However, Creamer did acknowledge that the most cuts will be made on the Oxford campus, mostly because it is the largest.

According to Herbst, they are currently working on deciding where to make the cuts. He said the process will include discussions within each division and the personnel offices.

According to Creamer, there will be a wide range of employees affected by the cuts, including classified and unclassified employees. However, he also said the university is doing what it can to minimize the effects the cuts will have on students.

“There may be some impact on student employees, but we asked areas to consider negative effects on students and try to preserve student employment,” Creamer said. “We’re doing this in a way that will have a low impact on students and be as transparent for them as we can make it.”

Herbst said they are working hard so that the cuts will not affectundergraduates.

“We’ve tried to shield the academic program, the instructional program from the cuts as much as possible,” Herbst said.

As of now, the university hopes to be able to notify employees before the end of March. After notification,

employees will be given until the end of their contract (for unclassified staff), a five-month notice (for unclassified staff who have worked more than five continuous years at Miami) or until June 27 (for classified employees), according to the e-mail.

“We expect that if we can accomplish everything, we will have the information and ability to make these decisions by the end of March,” Creamer said. “We want to provide as much advance notice as possible.”

After the layoffs, the university insists that it will continue to aid its laid-off employees. Health and tuition benefits will continue to be available for a designated amount of time, while workshops will be offered to help in job searches, according to the e-mail.

While Miami is making these budget changes, other universities in the area have made no such modifications, including Ohio State University.

“While all of our work units and colleges here at Ohio State have been asked to be prudent in how they spend money in these tough times, we have not instituted a hiring freeze or made any announcements of layoffs,” said Jim Lynch, director of media relations at The Ohio State University. “Our fiscal managers have been planning for these difficult budget times. In fact, the university saved at least $94 million last year alone through careful management of work transition and health benefit costs, as well as through strategic purchasing and energy conservation strategies.”

The University of Cincinnati also has not made any job cuts due to the current financial situation, according to Greg Hand, director and associate vice president for public relations at UC.

“So far the university has done relatively well because we have taken steps in previous years,” Hand said.

Hand said several years ago UC cut back on construction and took steps to build central cash reserves and diversify endowments.

“The current economic crisis has found us in a position where we’re OK right now,” Hand said.

Creamer said the cuts Miami is making will be for long-term economic savings.

“The situation we are facing is more of a permanent change we expect in the income and support the university is going to receive,” Creamer said. “We have taken some fairly substantial cuts and we are going to continue to need to control tuition increases. When we look at the amount of new income, it is going to be less than what we historically receive, so we have to do a better job of controlling our spending than we have in the past.”

Additional reporting by Catherine Couretas and Caitlin Varley