« Time to Walk the Talk? | Main | Trouble in River City »

Facing Reality - Better late than never...


An earlier post on this topic appeared on October 18.

There the inane claim of OurLeader that the U should get a 10 percent increase in funding was noted as well as some comments about this kind of thinking by our fellow citizens:

"Sorry but you are drunk if you think the U is getting $141 million in the upcoming legislative session. Unemployment is higher than it has been in twenty years. That translates into lower revenues for the state from income and sales taxes. Perhaps the University President missed the global economic meltdown. Time to live in the real world."

"This is absolutely outrageous that anyone has the chutzpa and gall to come asking the citizens of this state AND the students to fork over more of their money, especially in this climate."

"It is a complete outrage with the economic situation we find ourselves in as a country and it is already really tough for us to help our child attend the U - this madness has to stop. Is it not part of the U's mission to educate?"

"My advice to my legislators is going to be to say "No". The U needs to cut costs and play in the current economic situation with the rest of the state. And, if tuition is still raised...the U should be penalized by the legislature within the U's existing state budget allocations."

There's plenty more where that came from..

But Rip van Bruininks has awakened long enough to send out a notice about the pause that will refresh (would that be Coke or Pepsi?):

Systemwide hiring pause to be implemented

A message to University faculty and staff:

November 11, 2008

I am announcing a systemwide hiring pause, a requirement that, before being filled, all open positions must be reviewed and deemed essential. That is, positions must cover work that is essential to University operations, including critical health and safety functions, or those functions that ensure that the University meets its academic and fiduciary responsibilities.

If a position is determined to be essential, University approval will be required before filling it. I have asked that, absent approval, the hire be delayed and have urged consideration of other strategies that will address performance of the work.

This action complements an announcement I made earlier to University leadership to implement a mandatory approval of hires replacing Retirement Incentive Options (RIO) participants. These two actions are important steps that allow us greater flexibility to utilize RIO and other normal attrition to better align our workforce and streamline our operations.

We will learn more about the state's revenue forecast in early December. Most sources are projecting a dramatic decline in state revenues. We anticipate additional clarity on the University's financial support from the state when the governor announces his recommendations on state spending in mid to late January 2009.

Robert H. Bruininks


I love the idea of 'streamlining'. UM is the most administrator-heavy school in the Big 10, possibly the universe. I will consider re-proposing my brilliant Universal Administrative Sabbatical Savings Plan. According to me, we should send all UM (systemwide) administrators on a mandatory half-salary full year sabbatical. At the end of the year, we will reinstate only the ones we truly missed. Savings and more savings! I did send this plan to UM central once when ideas for improvements were being requested. I received a polite thank you.

I have to agree with you, Eve. The med school just hired a new associate dean for faculty affairs. The position used to be half-time but the new dean position is apparently full time. The current occupant is working hard to make the position full time so she is occupied generating new busy work for faculty. I've blogged on this - see my post on this site of October 11 on the latest craziness in the medical school.

Sorry, Coke has a lock on that contract.

But the med school dean is on the Pepsi Board of Directors! What's a poor upwardly mobile faculty member to do?

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)