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UTSA announces personnel changes as part of budget reduction process

UTSA announces personnel changes as part of budget reduction process

JULY 1, 2020The following message was sent via email today from President Taylor Eighmy to all faculty and staff: 

Over the past several weeks I have shared updates with all of you regarding UTSA’s FY 2021 budget. Our work over the past few years to create a budget model that is transparent and participatory provided a particularly important foundation for this year, one where we face extraordinary and unpredictable circumstances. 

As detailed in my previous messages, the pandemic’s financial impact on UTSA necessitates budgeted expense reductions across every area of the university, including some reductions to our workforce. 

Today we will be notifying all those whose positions are impacted. I know this will be hard on our community and very painful for those directly affected by today’s personnel actions. It saddens me greatly that some of our valued colleagues will undergo a difficult disruption in their lives during an already challenging and uncertain time, especially now with the pandemic’s resurgence. 

Let me reiterate that these budgetary decisions were informed by our guiding principles and reinforce our primary responsibility to advance our students’ success and critical research. Our deans, vice provosts and vice presidents engaged in a deeply collaborative and transparent process to meet our projected $35.8 million revenue shortfall for the next fiscal year. 

While recognizing that UTSA’s overall workforce has always been dynamic in nature and fluctuates based on current needs, our FY 2021 budget-setting process involved focused efforts to preserve as many positions as possible within our workforce of 6,850 faculty, staff and student workers. 

Unfortunately, however, the longer-term economic realities of the pandemic point to anticipated impacts to UTSA’s revenue and further reductions in state appropriations in 2022–2023, meaning we must implement some very difficult decisions now. 

Reflecting our FY 2021 budgeted expense reductions, the following personnel actions will be taking place today.  

Staff Positions 

From our workforce of 2,650 A&P and classified staff, we are eliminating 243 positions. This reduction in force affects 176 employees in management, administrative and other professional positions, and 67 employees in skilled labor positions. An additional four employees will see a reduction in hours, and 137 vacant staff positions will be eliminated. Affected positions cross all divisions of the university. 

Consistent with our principles and emphasis on seeking efficiencies, the budget reduction process included many unit reorganizations resulting in the availability of 55 new staff positions. These positions posted this morning for internal UTSA applicants, and those staff whose positions have been eliminated will be encouraged to apply. The intent is to fill them as soon as possible. 

Over the course of today, supervisors and area leaders will be meeting one-on-one with affected staff. Later today or tomorrow, senior leaders will hold virtual sessions with their employees to discuss how their area was impacted and plans for moving ahead. 

Affected staff will continue to be compensated by UTSA through August 31, 2020, and will maintain their benefits until then. In order to give these employees as much time as possible to actively search for future employment, they will be released from their current responsibilities at UTSA starting today. 

We are providing a wide range of transitional support services and resources to assist affected employees in the weeks to come. In addition to receiving two months of compensation and benefits, they will receive a full reemployment package that includes 13 weeks of one-on-one personalized job coaching as well as access to an online job search training program, weekly webinars, LinkedIn Learning and the UTSA Learning Zone. Human Resources will be meeting with all affected employees to go through this transition information in detail.

A breakdown showing the number of positions eliminated in each area can be found on our website.  

Faculty Positions 

Twelve vacant tenured/tenure-track faculty positions will be eliminated. 

In addition, from our workforce of 700-plus non–tenure-track faculty, 69 will be informed today that their college does not anticipate instructional need for the upcoming academic year. UTSA academic appointments for this group of NTTs (equivalent to 34.5 full-time employees) will end on August 31, 2020. Because these instructors are hired on a semester-by-semester basis, they could be invited back to teach at any point based on need. 

Student Workers 

As of spring, we employed over 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in hourly wage, work study and graduate assistantship positions. Student employment will continue to be handled on a department-by-department basis. Many units did include some reductions to wage funds as part of their budget plans, so it is likely that there will be fewer hourly campus positions available to students this coming year. Work-study positions are unaffected, since these are funded through the federal government as part of students’ financial aid packages. Colleges increased budgetary commitments to maintain support to our graduate students next year in their roles as graduate assistants.  

Some Final Words 

Lastly, I want to share the following. I care deeply for this community and value the contributions of each and every one of our employees. To those of you who will be leaving UTSA, I am truly sorry. This is not your fault. I know you will go on to share your many talents and contributions with the world in many impactful ways, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have given to our university. 

As we move into the future, we know that higher education will continue to evolve—more rapidly than ever before. Collectively we will help our communities, our state and our nation fully recover from this pandemic. Though the loss of some of our colleagues today is a painful result of the pandemic, we are well-prepared for the future and UTSA’s upward trajectory will not change.

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UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.