Bracing for budget cut, UNCA announces layoffs

Anticipating a 10-percent budget reduction by the state (about $4 million), UNCA has eliminated 43 staff positions, including eight actual layoffs. According to a July 13 press release, 26 of the positions were vacant at the time. Nine of the remaining 17 employees were reassigned to other open positions.

With state education funds in short supply, the system's general administration had instructed all campuses to brace for a 10 percent cut, according to the press release. The eight employees laid off were given 30 days' notice and severance pay, the release states. No faculty positions were eliminated.

The cuts will also mean closing the campus convenience store and phasing out the Mössbauer Effect Data Center, a spectroscopy research facility, and the Environmental Quality Institute, which analyzes water samples for local municipalities and individuals.

According to a summary received from UNC Asheville, the cuts were spread across all campus divisions, including finance, alumni and development, student affairs and the Office of the Chancellor. The EQI closing involves the most layoffs (three).

In the press release, UNCA Chancellor Anne Ponder said the decisions were made based on the positions' relationship to the campus's core mission.

"We conducted a comprehensive review of our organizational structure, looking for ways to improve efficiencies within administrative areas and eliminating functions not related directly to the university's core mission," said Ponder. "And, at the instruction of the state legislature and UNC General Administration, we also reviewed our centers and institutes to assess their relative contributions to UNC Asheville's mission and strategic plan. The actions we are taking reflect those priorities."
To see updates on the state of the university's budget, go to www.unca.edu/news/budget.html.

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