This morning, UNC system President Erskine Bowles is speaking about the 900 or so administrative jobs being cut from the UNC system budget.
Stay tuned for details. But here's what Bowles just told members of the UNC system's Board of Governors at the start of two days of meetings.
Like every other organization in America, without exception, this organization has gone through some pretty tough times in the last 18 months. We've let a lot of folks go. We've abolished over 900 administrative positions. A year ago, well over 600 were filled. Anyone in this room who has ever fired anybody or instituted a RIF (reduction in force) knows that is really painful. It's really tough on the people who lose their jobs, but I'm here to tell you it's not easy on the people instituting it.
These jobs aren't just cuts. They're real people who were in them and real families who were depending on them. They were folks who were working hard at this university trying to do their part to provide the students the education they need. A lot of them still don't have jobs. I get emails from a lot of them and they're suffering a lot. So while we may get some kudos for doing the right thing in tough times, I'm telling you it's not without some pain.
We knew where to cut. We have cut our administrative costs on a permanent basis by over 18 percent. When you add the one-time administrative cut, we've cut it by over 22 percent. As I said, that was over 900 jobs that were abolished. At the same time, we were able to protect the academic core and on a permanent basis, we have only cut the academic core by less than 1 percent. When you add in the one-time cuts, it's about 5.2 percent. I think we've done this and done it smart.
These administrative cuts - they weren't just from anywhere. Because we had worked so hard to develop a roadmap. That's what we've been working on. We were able to make these administrative cuts where we had duplication or overlap, and where we had enough strength that we could afford to slim down. But most important, while we made these cuts, I can look you in the eye and tell you we have protected the academic core. We have protected our ability to manage this place effectively.