Positions Eliminated at McCombs School, Further Cost-Saving Measures Expected

Nov. 3, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — Supervisors in the McCombs School of Business have notified 16 people that their positions have been eliminated as a result of the current budgetary crisis, with a final employment date of Jan. 31 for the affected positions. Staff reductions at the school were announced Sept. 15 and finalized on Monday, Nov. 2.

The school's human resources director, Del Watson, in coordination with the university's Human Resource Services department, will provide assistance to affected staff members with career services programs. Counseling will be available through the Employee Assistance Program. Affected employees will be given "special consideration" status in the hiring process for future positions at the university.

"Our priority is to ensure that individuals are treated with dignity, respected for what they have contributed to the school and assisted in their job search," McCombs School Dean Tom Gilligan said.

Unit heads within the school held group meetings with those not affected by the staff reduction to answer questions about the impact of the reductions upon work load and staff morale.

"While we are especially concerned for those directly impacted," Gilligan said, "we also recognize that everyone feels the effects of the reduction in some way or the other. This is a time for us to listen to concerns, be supportive and help teams readjust."

Gilligan said the staff reductions are expected to make up about 20 percent of the overall cost-saving measures the school will implement to ensure the continued success of the McCombs School during difficult economic times.

"Two priorities remain paramount to our mission even as we struggle with the budgetary challenges," Gilligan said. "First, the McCombs School is populated by a tremendously productive and committed community of professionals, and we must reallocate the resources necessary to reward and retain our very best faculty and staff.  Second, new faculty are central to the prominence of our school and the new initiatives we are undertaking in our strategic plan. This means we must continue to proactively hire the very best scholars available."

Gilligan said that with prudent planning the McCombs School can emerge in a stronger position to meet its goal of becoming one of the most prominent business schools in the world, while educating the next generation of leaders.

For more information, contact: Rob Meyer, McCombs School of Business.

10 Comments to "Positions Eliminated at McCombs School, Further Cost-Saving Measures Expected"

1.  Ed Cannon said on Nov. 4, 2009

Dean Gilligan announced in the McCombs staff meeting in the AT&T Center on Tuesday, Nov. 3, that in addition to the 16 who were laid off there were also three retirements and five resignations, for a total of 24 positions eliminated.

2.  Jim Hutton said on Nov. 5, 2009

Which specific positions (or at least what types and levels of positions) are being cut within the McCombs School?

3.  ginger palumbo said on Nov. 5, 2009

It's unreal how the science-related colleges are getting millions poured into them from various sources, while the Business School flounders and has to cut staff to shave expenses. What is it about my college that they are doing (or not doing) to not attract funding?

4.  Alicia said on Nov. 5, 2009

Sad news for everyone. As a parent of a student at your school, I think it is terrible that our economy is also affecting those involved and working with the future generation of business leaders.

5.  Randy Streng said on Nov. 5, 2009

What a sad note. I am a loyal Texas Ex, and of course love our athletic program, and UT's "We're Texas" (Non Athletic) Endowment Foundation. With all the funds the athletics department raises, the cost of the new Longhorn Golf Club, the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, etc., we should have funds to keep staff on and expand at the McCombs School and throughout the university. Where are our priorities? Has anyone reached out to the wealthy athletic supporters and others?

6.  Murli Sanne said on Nov. 5, 2009

I am a UT parent and am shocked to read this. I always thought that an educational institution is somewhat immune to the overall economic health. I am in agreement with the previous post. With a strong athletic program and research base, why is it that these other programs and departments aren't pitching in?

7.  H. Eldon Wood said on Nov. 6, 2009

Have there been any reductions at any of the other schools? I guess we're also teaching our students in the business school the realities of business. Again my first question.

8.  katherine said on Nov. 6, 2009

This is awful. What about the kids who chose this school for the top notch program? They turned down other great schools to be here, and now 24 positions are cut? They better get it straightened out fast before they lose their ranking and prestige.

9.  Arnulfo Guerra said on Nov. 9, 2009

I encouraged my son to enroll at UT Austin so that he could attend McCombs, where he is presently studying, as my family has attended UT for three generations. He could have attended any number of prestigious schools in the country as he graduated from high school in the top one percent of the top 10 percent nationwide and was courted by all of them.

Two questions come to mind: (1) How will these layoffs affect the quality of my son's education, and (2) What lasting impression is McCombs giving the next generation of world-class business leaders about poor management practices, if their own school is being run like the auto industry? Should we expect tuition rebates next?

10.  David Wenger said on Nov. 9, 2009

Allow me to respond to some of the comments, which are appreciated, particularly those expressing concern for the school.

Ed Cannon is correct, a total of 24 positions were eliminated.

Regarding Jim Hutton's question on the types and levels of positions, all of the positions were staff level positions. No teaching positions were affected.

After the reduction, McCombs continues with 275 staff members, which does not include faculty. While the effect of the staff reduction will be felt, substantial resources continue to be devoted to student services at the school, including program office staff, student advisors and career services staff.

For those who have expressed concerns about the school let me assure you that McCombs is trending positive on many fronts. These reductions, as difficult as they are, have been made to ensure that the school is operating in a fiscally responsible manner and is able to continue to hire top-level faculty, while rewarding those staff and faculty who continue on at the school.

I encourage those who are interested in the activities and progress of the school to visit our McCombs School Web site.