University implements first phase of budget reduction plan
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The university implemented a reduction in force effective this week, eliminating several vacant and filled positions.
The university found it necessary to implement the first phase of submitted budget reductions. This phase identified positions that could be permanently eliminated through consolidation of responsibilities or elimination of tasks altogether.
"We deeply regret how this affects those employees and their families," said TTU President Bob Bell. "This continues to be a stressful budgetary time for the state of Tennessee, and certainly Tennessee Tech is not immune.
"We were asked to plan for different budget scenarios and the Tennessee Board of Regents indicated that reductions in force might be necessary for institutions across the state to meet each reduced budget target," he said.
In February of this year, it was reported that campus units must consider how to make reductions while continuing to operate effectively. For some units, that included eliminating some personnel positions.
At that time, university administrators said plans would most likely have to consider a reduction in force. Until the state budget is passed, tuition rates are set and enrollment tallied, it is unclear which future cuts will have to be implemented.
In general, a reduction in force constitutes a strategic elimination of positions, either vacant or filled, as identified by operating units across the campus as a way to address deep budget cuts. The number of positions lost under this reduction was fewer than 18.
The university received approval to offer severance pay 30 days longer than the state requires. Employees affected by the reduction in force will receive a severance benefits package, including approximately 90 days paid administrative leave, and will be eligible to apply for open university positions for which they are qualified. They also will be eligible for tuition assistance.