Hiring freeze lifted
By Lee Graves
officials have lifted a mandatory hiring freeze that was imposed
in July in response to a state revenue crisis.
freeze on discretionary spending also was lifted in a Jan. 21
memo sent to vice presidents and deans from Leonard W. Sandridge,
executive vice president and chief operating officer. He cautioned
that the economic outlook still is uncertain and that the state
might impose new reductions.
action to lift the freeze is taken with the understanding that
you will comply with the spending plans that have been approved,
Sandridge wrote. Schools, departments and other operating
units will find it necessary to continue self-imposed hiring and
spending controls to meet their reduced budgets.
thaw obviously pleased many around Grounds. Some schools began
freezing faculty hiring in the fall of 2001.
the [mandatory] freeze began we were unable to fill positions
that had been vacated over the past couple of years, said
Karen Van Lengen, dean of the School
of Architecture. Naturally this placed considerable
stress on our current faculty and student body.
now plan to move forward with one faculty hire for 2003-04 and
to begin searches for either one or two positions for the following
year. Filling these vacated positions is critical to continuing
our excellent programs, Van
crisis that prompted the freeze is still ongoing. The General
Assembly is struggling to put the states budget on course
to meet a gap in revenue that is estimated at $6 billion over
two years. Gov. Mark R. Warner confronted the situation during
the summer after news that the state finished the fiscal year
on June 30, 2002, with $237 million less than projected.
officials acted on July 25 to freeze all state-funded hiring and
discretionary spending. That was after the Board
of Visitors approved a tuition increase and adopted a 2002-03
spending plan that reflected significant reductions in state support.
Over the two-year state budget, U.Va.s state aid has been
reduced $91.5 million, with $51.6 million of that projected in
that the General Assembly might require more cuts, Sandridge asked
deans and vice presidents to maintain maximum flexibility in their
spending plans. He also urged care in making commitments that
affect long-term obligations.
freeze, on top of years without state-funded pay raises and University-wide
belt-tightening, spawned some fears that it would be difficult
to retain faculty tempted to accept job offers elsewhere.
has not been the case, said Edward L. Ayers, dean of the College
of Arts & Sciences.
colleagues are not leaving us in droves as some had expected,
he said in an online message about the budget situation.
fact, no one has resigned from the Arts & Sciences faculty
this year, and last year we had only 10 resignations, roughly
one-third fewer than in each of the preceding two years.
the tight times, Ayers said support for graduate students has
Most graduate students now receive health insurance coverage
despite its million-dollar-a-year cost. Last year, we received
from the provost a permanent $400,000 addition to our graduate
student budget. This year, we also received a portion of the tuition
surcharge revenue for graduate support, he said, referring
to a $385 surcharge added to tuition for the spring semester.
tuition hike in April is a foregone conclusion. Ayers sees that
as the basis for a new financial footing.
our funding expectations on tuition prices that more accurately
reflect the true cost of delivering a U.Va. education is far better
than being buffeted by the politics of state funding, he