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Chancellor explains effects of hiring freeze on MU

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | 4:47 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA – MU Chancellor Brady Deaton clarified the effects of the UM System-wide hiring freeze on MU faculty and staff in an e-mail Tuesday.

The hiring freeze will not apply to fully-funded grant and contract positions, fully-endowed positions or federal work study student positions at MU, Deaton said in the e-mail.

Other positions will have to meet specific criteria to be unfrozen.

An outline of hiring freeze guidelines shows that exceptions will be reviewed by high-level administrators who have the final say in approving new hires. The exceptions include:

  • potential hires that had already received preliminary offers by Nov. 17,
  • positions that are necessary for immediate public safety issues and
  • part-time or temporary faculty and staff to teach classes in Spring 2009, including graduate teaching assistantships.

To petition for an exception, the supervisor of the empty position will fill out a form demonstrating the need. That form must be approved by a department head and sent to the Chancellor’s office.

Further exceptions will be considered, including positions essential for patient care in health care facilities; positions required to recruit, admit or retain students; and positions that generate revenue to offset their cost. Priority will also be given to extraordinary hires that would bring strength to the campus.

If a hiring need does not meet these criteria, exceptions will still be considered, but at a cost. Departments must outline any cuts or reorganizations they would face if the position went unfilled.

Departments must also answer questions such as:

  • Could the position be eliminated and the functions combined with another position?
  • Is this position clearly needed to meet accreditation requirements?
  • Is it possible to operate the program without accreditation?

But MU does not want to sacrifice accreditation. MU spokesman Christian Basi said MU is adamant about maintaining educational quality. Basi said if a position is necessary to maintain credibility and an individual program's proper accreditation, then "it is a point in favor (of filling it)."

Each position will be looked at on a case-by-case basis, Basi said. The length of the freeze is unknown.


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