Oct 072008
Authors: Madeline Novey

CSU has suspended hires for all “non-critical state classified, administrative-professional and hourly staff positions” until December, CSU officials said, as a result of Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter’s freeze on state-funded hiring and capital construction in September.

University spokesperson Brad Bohlander said faculty, student hourly and work-study positions will not be affected by the suspension because the university wants to “minimize” the student-impact of the university’s decision.

The suspension affects positions that range from entry-level positions in the university public relations office to vice presidential and state classified positions, Bohlander said.

Examples of state-classified employees include administrative assistants, custodians, accountants and most employees in Facilities Management. Department directors, deans and assistant deans make up positions in the administrative branch.

University officials said that while the governor’s freeze did not apply to hiring on higher education campuses, the decision was made “in the interest of responsible management” of CSU’s finances.

Bohlander said that the decision to suspend hiring at the university “is not atypical” and was made as a precautionary decision in response to the current national, and subsequently, the state economic situations.

“We maintain contingency reserves as a precaution for any financial crisis, and those reserves — together with these actions — should put us in a good position to deal with whatever arises,” said Tony Frank, the provost and senior executive vice president, in an e-mail to university staff and administration.

The suspension does not apply to positions required to meet CSU research grant and contract requirements paid for by “extramural fund sources,” which include the National Institute of Health and other federal government agencies. The federal funds pay for everything research-oriented, from laboratories and upkeep, to necessary equipment and graduate teaching assistant salaries.

Officials said that they recognized the need for potential hiring between now and the budget review, and would review individual department staff-hire needs “case by case.”

CSU will reevaluate the university’s financial standing when the state issues its December budget forecast, which will give university officials a general idea of the state’s economic situation and possible state-funded money projections for fiscal year 2010.

“The university’s budget has made very positive strides over the past three years, and while there are challenges before us, these precautionary steps should allow us to weather the storm without dismantling the progress of the last four years,” Frank said in the e-mail.

Senior Reporter Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com

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