Economy forces abolishment of jobs at UT Medical Center

February 10, 2009 | UToday
By Jim Winkler

The University of Toledo Medical Center is eliminating 30 positions, Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, Health Science Campus provost, executive vice president for health affairs and College of Medicine dean, announced at last Thursday’s town hall meeting on Health Science Campus.

Eighteen people will lose their jobs, some of which will fill other open positions. The other 12 jobs are vacant positions that will not be filled.

“It is very regrettable that we have to take this action, and we are all highly sensitive to the impact that these cuts will have on the employees and their families,” Gold said. “The layoffs represent the need for matching our positions to our clinical program needs and the very broad and deep belt-tightening in the hospital industry. We are trying to be thoughtful and shepard the organization through a very difficult time.”

Mark Chastang, vice president and UT Medical Center executive director, also expressed disappointment and cited the impact of the uncertain economy on the health-care delivery industry as the reason for the action.

“This is highly undesirable, but is something that is out of our control,” he said. “We have to adjust to it.”

Gold expressed optimism that some employees whose positions were cut can move into open positions in the hospital.

As the University prepares its fiscal year 2010 operating budget using 7 and 15 percent reduction scenarios as models, Dr. Scott Scarborough, senior vice president for finance and administration, said the University will be “strategic” in its decisions and that across-the-board cuts will not be adopted as a way to balance the budget. He wants colleges and departments to discuss ways to trim costs and enhance revenues. A top priority in the budget deliberations in the next several months will be “to protect full-time jobs,” he said.

Gold said that state universities could benefit from President Barack Obama’s federal economic stimulus package now being considered by the U.S. Senate. He said that federal stimulus money going to the states likely will include a share for state universities for new buildings, technology, equipment and programs, and he urged faculty members to aggressively prepare research proposals that could be submitted to the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies. He noted, for example, that the legislation contains $20 billion for hospital information technology.

Gold closed the session by expressing confidence in the strength of the University, and particularly cited the student, faculty, staff and leadership as being highly focused on its day-to-day challenges and the long-term vision.

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