The University of Texas at San Antonio will lay off 243 people from its workforce of 2,650 full-time staff and notify 69 adjunct faculty that they won’t be needed in the fall.
The Academic Affairs division will eliminate 137 jobs, and the Business Affairs division will cut 93 positions. These staff positions are administrative and work in roles that support the school’s academic mission. The university employs a total of 6,850 faculty, staff, and student workers.
In a email, President Taylor Eighmy outlined the job losses that staff would learn of Wednesday as the university analyzes the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic and an expected decline in enrollment. The university anticipates a $35.8 million revenue shortfall in the upcoming fiscal year.
“I know this will be hard on our community and very painful for those directly affected by today’s personnel actions,” Eighmy wrote. “It saddens me greatly that some of our valued colleagues will undergo a difficult disruption in their lives during an already challenging and uncertain time, especially now with the pandemic’s resurgence.”
The reduction in force will impact 176 employees in management, administrative, and other professional positions, and 67 employees in skilled labor positions. Four more employees will have their hours cut, and the university will eliminate 137 vacant staff positions. Layoffs will occur across all divisions of the university, Eighmy wrote.
The university also plans to inform 69 of the more than 700 adjunct faculty members that their colleges will not need them for the upcoming year.
More information on the eliminated positions can be found here.
On Wednesday, UTSA supervisors will meet with staff whose positions are being eliminated. They will continue to be paid and receive benefits through Aug. 31.
“In order to give these employees as much time as possible to actively search for future employment, they will be released from their current responsibilities at UTSA starting today,” Eighmy wrote.
UTSA is also providing affected employees 13 weeks of job coaching and access to an online job search training program.
Reorganizations of departments have resulted in 55 newly available positions. The university posted these job openings and is encouraging laid-off staff to apply.
Eighmy’s email did not address whether student employment will be impacted. The university employs 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students in hourly wage, work-study, and graduate assistantship positions.
Eighmy stated only that student employment will be handled on a department-by-department basis.
“It is likely that there will be fewer hourly campus positions available to students this coming year,” Eighmy wrote, noting that work-study positions will be unaffected because they are funded by the federal government.
In the weeks leading up to Eighmy’s announcement, UTSA faculty members voiced concerns over the lack of transparency in the university’s budgeting process and fears that adjunct faculty would be let go.
University officials responded that they were preparing for steep revenue losses. State Republican leaders asked agencies and public universities to identify a savings of 5 percent across two years. A UTSA spokesman reasoned that because most of UTSA’s spending was done for fiscal year 2020, spending in fiscal year 2021 would need to be reduced by 10 percent.
The school also anticipated a 2.5 percent loss in tuition and fee revenues for fiscal year 2021. The university asked academic divisions to prepare for cuts of up to 14 percent. Wednesday’s layoffs were the result of the cuts.
UTSA is not the only higher education institution forced to cut staff. St. Mary’s University announced layoffs of 24 staff members and furloughs for 57 employees in May.