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ADMINISTRATORS LOOK FOR WAYS AROUND HIRING FREEZE
Because of UND's
continuing budget issues, the University announced an immediate freeze on
hiring, except in cases in which job offers already have been made and for
positions essential to the functioning of the university. With hiring on hold,
many on campus worry about the effects on their departments.
Medical School Dean David
Wilson asked Baker whether North Dakota would be well served if its new
physicians graduated without learning anatomy. Including the
anatomy professor, Wilson has 10 faculty positions open in his school, and he
says most are essential, such as a chair of the department of
pharmacology and toxicology and a director of the school's Center for Rural
Health. At the moment, Wilson said, I'm waiting for some
orders from the president regarding our positions.
He is concerned that a freeze may save money for now but may be a black
eye for UND. I
am concerned about public perception, Wilson said. I think it paints the picture
that higher education is not as important in North Dakota as it was in the past.
Assistant Athletic Director
Kathleen McCann said even though the volleyball season is over, the lack of a
head coach is hurting the program. The
recruiting season is going on right now and we're getting killed, McCann said.
David Vorland, Baker's
executive assistant said, we've encouraged the vice presidents to fill only
positions considered high-priority. Exceptions will be made only if the open
position means the university will not operate. If you need X
number of people to operate the heating plant, you don't have any choice but to
operate the heating plant. Any
exceptions to the freeze will be decided by vice presidents on a case-by-case
basis, Vorland said.
Although Baker announced the
freeze Tuesday, administrators have been moving slowly with hires all year to
offset shortfalls. Vacancies
saved UND $1,198,935 in payrolls and fringe benefits this year,
Baker said. UND has 131 vacant positions - 38 faculty members and 93 other staff. The
administration has been actively recruiting to fill only 43 of these vacant
said the freeze probably will last until the state Board of Higher Education
meets in May. However, some on campus worry that some positions may need to be
filled before then.
Because of a booming
aviation industry, UND Aerospace had problems attracting and
keeping mechanics and flight instructors this year.
If we get behind on maintenance, planes won't fly, said aerospace
spokesman Tim Burke. If the college keeps losing staff, it could be an obstacle
for students trying to complete flight training. The college
has openings for eight mechanics and 11 or 12 instructors, said aerospace
personnel manager Gary Ebel.
Physical Plant Director
LeRoy Sondrol said Plant Services has about six open positions. He was mostly
concerned about a lack of custodial staff.
The buildings may not
look as clean as they have. There's only so much square footage we can do.