Vacant employee positions will no longer be automatically filled

Vacant employee positions will no longer be automatically filled

TOVA KIBAL, Associate Editor

The College Planning Council decided that in an attempt to reduce debt, City College will no longer automatically replace employers who leave their jobs at its meeting 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5.

This process is an effect from the $9 million budget deficit the college is struggling with. The goal is to reduce a total of 10 positions across both faculty and staff per year, hoping to have reached a budget balance by year 2021.

‘‘This isn’t going to be an easy fix,” said Superintendent-President Dr. Anthony E. Beebe. “It isn’t going to be a one-time fix, and it’s not going to be something we can get done overnight. It is going to take us some time.’’

The council agreed with Beebe’s original proposal to enforce a hiring freeze at the college. However, what to call the “freeze” was reassessed at the meeting to better match the new proposal.

The reluctance to call it a freeze is because it is not a complete freeze, instead certain criteria must be met for the open position to be filled. A committee that will aid the decision of which spots are essential to replace will be put together by Dr. Paul Bishop, Vice President of information technology.

‘‘The goal is to try to reduce the staffing as much as possible, but this mechanism allows you to identify places where you might need a position,’’ said Dean Nevins, former president of the academic senate and current chair of the computer science department.

The campus-wide decision affects administrative and “classified’’ staff.

“Classified’’ staff are all the support workers who are not faculty. This includes positions ranging from lab teaching assistants and administrative assistants to custodians and groundskeepers.

Faculty will not be included in the process, because their numbers are set by the state Chancellor’s Office, through a formula based on the total numbers of hours students spend in class. The college does want to reduce the number of teachers, but will do so in a separate process.

‘‘I think that it is possible to grow something very strong based on this foundation,’’ said Priscilla Butler, president of the Academic Senate.