Ohio University

Update on personnel actions: acknowledging a new reality and its impact on OHIO

Published: June 23, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The following message was sent to Ohio University employees this afternoon.

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to share news of additional reductions made in response to budget challenges exacerbated by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. Today, 81 Ohio University employees were notified that their positions have been eliminated. As part of divisional reorganizations, the University expects to rehire 23 of these positions for an anticipated net reduction of 58 positions. 

This personnel reduction includes classified employees, which were the only employee group not impacted by earlier reductions. This decision follows civil service reform measures, which were approved at the June 19 Board of Trustees meeting. 

A total of 63 classified positions, 17 administrative positions, and one hourly research position that is classified as non-bargaining unit/unclassified have been eliminated across the institution. Of those positions, 44 positions are part of an administrative support reorganization in the College of Arts and Sciences. In order to create a college centralized service model, the College of Arts & Sciences will post 23 new jobs: 20 classified and 3 administrative. The remaining 38 eliminated positions are in various academic and administrative units across the University. Once the new positions in the College of Arts & Sciences service center are filled by current employees, we expect a net reduction of 43 classified staff positions, 14 administrative positions, and one hourly position that is classified as non-bargaining unit/unclassified, or a total of 58 positions overall. 

As you know, the University faced budget challenges prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments, which has made it necessary for us to respond with even more urgency to address our new realities. Prior to the pandemic, the University implemented a series of measures to reduce costs, including a voluntary separation and retirement program for tenured faculty and administrators who hold faculty rank and enacting more restrictive university spending guidelines. Additionally, we implemented operational efficiencies through increased scrutiny for hiring and a mandatory post-pandemic furlough for non- bargaining unit faculty and staff.

Classified employees who were notified that their positions have been eliminated received a 14-day notice followed by severance benefits based on their years of service. Administrative employees received a 90-day notice, followed by eligible severance benefits. We are doing all we can to support our employees who are impacted by these difficult decisions.

  • The University is expanding educational benefits to include one year of post-employment tuition waivers even if employees are not currently enrolled in an academic program. Prior to this change, employees were limited to continue programs in which they were currently enrolled.
  • Dependent educational benefits are also extended to eligible dependents who were admitted to programs, even if not yet enrolled. 
  • In addition, we have partnered with experienced providers for personalized employment transition services available to all employees whose positions have been eliminated, including those notified today. The transition service provider has experience working with professionals in academic and administrative fields and will support affected employees by strengthening their resume or CV, developing career marketing plans, and connecting with recruiters.

Most of the institution’s operating costs are in personnel, which has necessitated difficult decisions that we recognize have a significant impact on our employees, their families, and the communities in which we serve. This is a painful time for our entire community, especially for those whose jobs have been affected. We are truly sorry for the personal and professional impact on each of these individuals.

For more information about the University’s response to current budget challenges, visit www.ohio.edu/budget or contact budgetquestions@ohio.edu.

Sincerely,

M. Duane Nellis,
President

Elizabeth Sayrs
Executive Vice President and Provost

Deborah J. Shaffer
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration