The UW-Milwaukee provost will not pursue a hiring freeze in Academic Affairs right now, as university officials continue to wrestle with Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget cut for the UW System.
The news comes from Provost Johannes Britz. His office provides academic leadership to the University. Among other things, the provost’s office handles faculty and staff recruitment, new program development, retention, and tenure.
Britz said in an email Monday to the campus community that instead of implementing a hiring freeze, campus officials will be critically reviewing all proposed faculty, academic and classified staff recruitments. The decision to not implement a hiring freeze right now came after a meeting Britz had with campus deans late last week.
“I asked deans to prioritize their proposed hires and submit these to me early this week,” said Britz.
The Britz development comes on the heels of Walker’s announcement last week of a $300 million proposed budget cut for the UW System. Walker formally announces his full budget plan on Tuesday. The budget then must go through the legislative process. UW-Milwaukee’s share of the cut could be as much as $20 million by July alone, officials have said previously. They have decried the cut as unprecedented and devastating.
Since the Walker announcement, campus leaders have been scrambling to find ways to weather such a cut if it occurs; last week, a top university committee raised the prospect of layoffs and building closures if the Legislature approves the proposal. However, it is administration, not that committee, that will make the decisions on how to handle a cut.
A budget task force co-chaired by Britz and Vice Chancellor Robin Van Harpen will develop strategies and principles on how to manage the budget deficit and communicate them on a regular basis with campus, Britz said Monday.
The UW chancellor has also established a communication task force, Britz revealed.
The task force will be co-chaired by Tom Luljak, vice chancellor of university relations and communications, and Britz to oversee and integrate all communication in regards to the budget.