Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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Chancellor Announces UT Systemwide Flexible Hiring Freeze; Recommends Senior Executive Compensation Freeze

AUSTIN – University of Texas System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., today (Feb. 10) 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.

About The University of Texas System

The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.5 billion (FY 2009) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Student enrollment exceeded 194,000 in the 2007 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's healthcare professionals annually. With more than 81,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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