June 12, 2003
CONTACT: Ward Mullens

Eastern Michigan University eliminates 84 positions

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University will start the fall semester of 2003 with fewer jobs and fewer people as it struggles with the impact of the state’s 10 percent cut in appropriations.

The cut amounts to a loss of about $8.8 million for EMU and has forced the University to eliminate 84 positions and lay off five employees.

“This would have been a difficult situation under any circumstance, but it is particularly hard when you consider that EMU has been historically under-resourced, both financially and in personnel,” said Patrick Doyle, vice president for business and finance for EMU.

EMU ranks 12th among Michigan’s 15 public universities in the amount of funding per student it receives from the state, while remaining 10th in price.
Doyle said the impact of the loss will be felt across the University.

“This means that people will be asked to do more with less. However, the University is extraordinarily fortunate to have people who believe in our mission and are up to the challenge. I do not see quality being affected,” Doyle said.

Doyle said the only thing that stopped this round of cuts from affecting more jobs was President Samuel Kirkpatrick’s foresight.

“His insistence to begin our budget reduction plan a year in advance and freeze vacant positions has allowed us to somewhat minimize the impact of these cuts,” said Doyle. “Barring any further cuts from the state, we do not foresee any further cuts in personnel.”

In addition to the elimination of 22 vacant faculty positions earlier in 2003, EMU will lose 12.5 positions in maintenance, six administrative/professionals, 14.5 clericals, 14 professional technicals and 15 graduate assistant, doctoral fellows and student jobs. While some of the positions were occupied, those affected were allowed to move into open positions.

Of the five people to lose their jobs, three were administrators and two were in maintenance. The layoffs will be completed by July 1.

Doyle estimated the savings of the lost personnel at $3.7 million, or 44 percent of the University’s budget reduction plan. The rest of the plan includes $3 million in cuts from supplies, services, travel and related expense categories; $900,000 in cost savings from utilities; and $300,000 in telephone cost savings.

“There was a commitment from the entire executive team to cut everywhere we could before we even looked at people,” said Doyle. “But when 75 percent of what we do is directly related to personnel, loss of positions is inevitable.”

Although Doyle said that no more personnel cuts were planned, he warned that another round of cuts from the state would be felt entirely in the loss of personnel.

Eastern Michigan University is a public comprehensive, metropolitan university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.