UT President Lloyd Jacobs said the University needs to look to its strategic plan to provide guidance in difficult financial times in a letter distributed to the campus community April 29 announcing a number of layoffs across the institution.
“During the past 18 months, The University of Toledo has been in the process of preparing for what we knew would be several difficult budget years,” Jacobs wrote. “That planning has resulted in a recalibrated strategic plan to provide guidance as the institution strives to excel in the face of scarce resources.”
“But no plan can make today’s announcement any easier,” he wrote. “In the next several days, layoff notices will be distributed to union representatives and a number of employees across the University. We’ve worked hard to remove vacant and part-time positions — an effort to minimize the impact on those who count on UT for all or the majority of their compensation.”
UT officials said the number of employees who ultimately leave the University would not be known for several weeks as collective bargaining unit employees exercise bumping rights and as employees move into open positions.
Jacobs wrote that the University would do everything it could to help ease the transition for those impacted and said all automatically would be enrolled in the UT Works program, which provides laid-off workers with first priority to fill open positions across the institution.
“These are dedicated men and women who deserve our respect and our thanks for their commitment to education and to The University of Toledo,” he wrote.
The president laid out some of the challenges facing the institution that necessitated the decision.
“Economic news out just yesterday shows that while the economy is recovering, growth is slow. The expiration of nearly $20 million in federal stimulus dollars and fewer financial resources available from the state on top of increasing University operations and benefits costs require us to rethink and re-engineer much of our standard operating procedure,” he wrote.
“As I said during my address to the community earlier this month, universities across the nation can either embrace and lead the changes sweeping across higher education or be dragged along by them. I firmly believe The University of Toledo is well-positioned to assume a leadership role.
“These changes will be difficult and ask us to adapt to challenges that push us out of our comfort zones,” he wrote. “But by staying true to our institutional values and following a strong strategic plan, this institution’s best days lay ahead.”