The TAMU RIF tsunami is upon us...

35,667 Views | 121 Replies | Last: 17 days ago by BluHorseShu
Three Seasons
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We have entered the new budget 60-day window where the reductions in force are happening. If A&M doesn't find funding from somewhere, non-tenured teaching faculty, staff, programs, and even courses are now at risk. Every department is going through a program justification review to let those know at the university level how devastating the cuts could be to the individual departments. This is happening system-wide.

Imagine a student needing a course for graduation - only to find out that the needed course can't be offered because that non-tenured faculty is no longer with the university and all tenured faculty are plus one or two over their full time teaching load. Now imagine colleges that make most of their program offerings off of these non-tenured faculty, professor of practice positions. These positions go away, then the supporting staff goes with them... for us, it will (potentially) be a 60% reduction in household income which is devastating, but not as devastating as losing all of our medical insurance. We have about a 6-month savings buffer - but after that?

The A&M system is not the only one hurting... UTSA just announced major cutbacks and I was down at Rice a couple of weeks ago and it looks like they have scaled back on things there as well - even the lawn care at Rice looked atrocious.

Get ready to hang on! Things are about to get tighter...
instapt
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Where did you hear this? I thought they were originally asked to prepare for a 7.5% cut, but it ended up being only 2.5%?
AggieBarstool
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What is your credible news source on this?
AggieBarstool
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Exactly. And it's my understanding the HSC got an exemption this year due to their research efforts in addressing the pandemic.
rsa
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No word on cuts in my division, but we did hear from our supervisor to be prepared to work from home through the end of the fall semester. Makes sense -- cuts down on the number of people in the building to make way for students, teaching faculty, and others who have to be there for classroom/lab activities.
cavscout96
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Source?
Expert Analysis
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Here is some funding... https://transport.tamu.edu/About/news/2020/2020-05-quietzone-thebatt.aspx
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FlyRod
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You got there with it before "The Entity" did!
doubledog
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Three Seasons said:

We have entered the new budget 60-day window where the reductions in force are happening. If A&M doesn't find funding from somewhere, non-tenured teaching faculty, staff, programs, and even courses are now at risk. Every department is going through a program justification review to let those know at the university level how devastating the cuts could be to the individual departments. This is happening system-wide.

Imagine a student needing a course for graduation - only to find out that the needed course can't be offered because that non-tenured faculty is no longer with the university and all tenured faculty are plus one or two over their full time teaching load. Now imagine colleges that make most of their program offerings off of these non-tenured faculty, professor of practice positions. These positions go away, then the supporting staff goes with them... for us, it will (potentially) be a 60% reduction in household income which is devastating, but not as devastating as losing all of our medical insurance. We have about a 6-month savings buffer - but after that?

The A&M system is not the only one hurting... UTSA just announced major cutbacks and I was down at Rice a couple of weeks ago and it looks like they have scaled back on things there as well - even the lawn care at Rice looked atrocious.

Get ready to hang on! Things are about to get tighter...
The new FY is upon us. The administration will would begin with early retirement packages. Since we are into abbreviations, the RIPs will would be given and opportunity to actually retire. Non essential classes, mainly those in place to mollify certain individuals will would be cut back. The contracted faculty and staff will would be next (contracts not renewed). Soft money researchers and staff will would then be cut back. Core courses will would not be affected. Instead the teaching load will would be extended to cover longer days (7am to ??) and (possibly) Saturdays.


instapt
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Interesting. Has this been discussed in your unit? In my department and college, there has been no mention at all of voluntary retirement packages, not renewing contract employees, etc. I expected this would happen, but nothing so far. (Though it wouldn't make sense to cut back soft money employees, because they're soft money.)

Class days in fall start at 8:00 a.m. and run through 8:00 or 8:35 p.m. depending on the day (5:00 p.m. on Fridays). So no Saturday classes!
cavscout96
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source?
Cholula Verde
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Three Seasons and DoubleDog must be in COALS/AgriLife.
doubledog
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cavscout96 said:

source?
I should have said would (maybe?). This is all up in the air as of today. We are all waiting on word from on high

I have fixed it in my original post. Sorry to scare everyone.
cavscout96
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doubledog said:

cavscout96 said:

source?
I should have said would (maybe?). This is all up in the air as of today. We are all waiting on word from on high

I have fixed it in my original post. Sorry to scare everyone.
My point it is, these posts are pretty alarmist. I have some close contacts on campus and they haven't even heard a whisper of any of this.
FlyRod
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TAMU is going to take hits for sure. But we are in better shape then a lot, or perhaps even most big R1 universities from what I am reading and hearing from friends who work at them.
isitjustme
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A friend told me AgriLife got a "thanks for the good job through all of this, but now we have to cut" email. Percentages were not mentioned.
Lone Stranger
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Here is some of the text from the COALS/AgriLife letter from the VC.

We have identified some difficult but necessary organizational changes that will be implemented in the weeks to come, including updates to policies focused on a more transparent approach to operations, realignment of programs in an effort to reduce redundancy, centralization of select services focused on academic and service excellence, and elimination of positions.

As programs and services are restructured and/or realigned, reductions in force will be unavoidable. I know this information is difficult to hear, but these steps are being taken thoughtfully and with a clear outcome in mind. Due to the unique administrative structure of our organization, direct supervisors will meet with members of their units in the coming weeks to share details of their distinct plans that range from restructuring some programs and related positions to elimination of duplicative or no longer needed roles. We will announce final decisions in phases throughout July and August.
cavscout96
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Lone Stranger said:

Here is some of the text from the COALS/AgriLife letter from the VC.

We have identified some difficult but necessary organizational changes that will be implemented in the weeks to come, including updates to policies focused on a more transparent approach to operations, realignment of programs in an effort to reduce redundancy, centralization of select services focused on academic and service excellence, and elimination of positions.

As programs and services are restructured and/or realigned, reductions in force will be unavoidable. I know this information is difficult to hear, but these steps are being taken thoughtfully and with a clear outcome in mind. Due to the unique administrative structure of our organization, direct supervisors will meet with members of their units in the coming weeks to share details of their distinct plans that range from restructuring some programs and related positions to elimination of duplicative or no longer needed roles. We will announce final decisions in phases throughout July and August.
Ouch. Not sure what in AgriLife is redundant. With some counties already without extension agents, I presume some agents will be asked to cover more than one county.

I wonder if ENG/TEEX is in the same boat. I'd think there is probably more redundancy there.

Of all the "sky is falling" commentary I've seen since March, this one has me the most concerned by far. I don't work in COALS/AgriLife, but I know how important the folks who support ag production are statewide.
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DFWag84
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so many directors and VPs pulling in over 300
start there
Three Seasons
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Sorry - wasn't on TexAgs since the original post. The COALS email is total bullcr@p

If it was a Hussey program - it will be gutted... but Sharp has his guy [Stover]. Not that it's all Stover - Stover has some people around him that really hate Hussey.

So with that you can [I'll go ahead and say maybe] kiss The Gardens goodbye. It's hard to have a teaching gardens when the staff is let go - but hey - keep the PhD Hort guy and maybe he can maintain the place when the maintenance and upkeep contract runs out.

My advice? Go get your pictures in The Gardens now - this time next year things might look different .

Engineering? Taking a hit as well with O&G in the tank... not as bad as it is in COLS, but if things stay slow then it won't be long before engineering is in the same boat.

So much henges on how many students return and where, [if any] online class fees go [department level or up to the university] - and someone already said it - these jobs are not easily replaced here in BCS. You just can't go out and find a comparable position outside of TAMU.
pacecar02
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for what its worth, I heard they are predicting record enrollment for the fall 60k plus
lost my dog
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cavscout96 said:

Lone Stranger said:

Here is some of the text from the COALS/AgriLife letter from the VC.

We have identified some difficult but necessary organizational changes that will be implemented in the weeks to come, including updates to policies focused on a more transparent approach to operations, realignment of programs in an effort to reduce redundancy, centralization of select services focused on academic and service excellence, and elimination of positions.

As programs and services are restructured and/or realigned, reductions in force will be unavoidable. I know this information is difficult to hear, but these steps are being taken thoughtfully and with a clear outcome in mind. Due to the unique administrative structure of our organization, direct supervisors will meet with members of their units in the coming weeks to share details of their distinct plans that range from restructuring some programs and related positions to elimination of duplicative or no longer needed roles. We will announce final decisions in phases throughout July and August.
Ouch. Not sure what in AgriLife is redundant. With some counties already without extension agents, I presume some agents will be asked to cover more than one county.

I wonder if ENG/TEEX is in the same boat. I'd think there is probably more redundancy there.

Of all the "sky is falling" commentary I've seen since March, this one has me the most concerned by far. I don't work in COALS/AgriLife, but I know how important the folks who support ag production are statewide.
ENGR has been said to be stable. Can't comment on TEEX. Totally different funding stream
lost my dog
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pacecar02 said:

for what its worth, I heard they are predicting record enrollment for the fall 60k plus
I have observed no shortfall in the NSCs so far
Cholula Verde
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" Stover has some people around him that really hate Hussey. "
Hate is a really strong word. If that is really the case then the guidance those hate filled individuals provide is already subject to creating poor outcomes. How unfortunate for COALS and even more unfortunate for the University!
bushytailed
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Three Seasons said:



My advice? Go get your pictures in The Gardens now - this time next year things might look different .


Most of the Gardens staff was let go today.
Turf96
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Pardon me for my ignorance but how many people would that be? Just a close number.
isitjustme
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If I'm on this list of major donors, then I'm pretty po'd right now (I'm not). Demonstrates dislike for Hussey as well.

https://www.txamfoundation.com/News/Grand-Opening-of-the-Leach-Teaching-Gardens.aspx

Aggieangler93
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Curious as to why there is a funding problem? Tuition sure as hell isn't going down, nor are online class fees. I pay both for my kid, and I don't think enrollment is shrinking, so how the hell can they not have enough to pay staff?

I'd love to see them cut some expenses and costs to their students, but I just laugh at the absurdity of that thought.....
isitjustme
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Aggieangler93 said:

Curious as to why there is a funding problem? Tuition sure as hell isn't going down, nor are online class fees. I pay both for my kid, and I don't think enrollment is shrinking, so how the hell can they not have enough to pay staff?

I'd love to see them cut some expenses and costs to their students, but I just laugh at the absurdity of that thought.....
There will probably be a decline in enrollment this fall despite what was said earlier in the summer. The state may also not have adequate funds to meet this share of expenses, about 22% on the teaching side. There may be a decline in on campus living and dining, which will trim that slice of the pie. Online classes mean fewer parkers on campus means less permit and ticket revenue, which usually amounts to a whole bunch of money. There's probably a lot more I can't think of right now.
Cholula Verde
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" Demonstrates dislike for Hussey as well."
Could you please explain this part of your comment? Thank you.
toolshed
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agrab86 said:

If I'm on this list of major donors, then I'm pretty po'd right now (I'm not). Demonstrates dislike for Hussey as well.

https://www.txamfoundation.com/News/Grand-Opening-of-the-Leach-Teaching-Gardens.aspx


That was my first thought, I recalled that donations made up a big part of the gardens. I don't know if maintenance was part of the donations as well.
isitjustme
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Cholula Verde said:

" Demonstrates dislike for Hussey as well."
Could you please explain this part of your comment? Thank you.
ThreeSeasons above mentioned the dislike for Hussey in the ag admin and that if it was a Hussey program it was gone. Even mentioned the gardens. In the press release I linked to, it gave a big salute to Hussey's role in getting the gardens going. Today, they fire a bunch of the garden employees. So 1+1+1+1+1=5.
Oogway
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That is a real shame that the staff were laid off. We really have enjoyed The Gardens ever since the opening and visit many times during all the seasons. We've learned a lot more about what plants work well here and the designs have given us the courage to try new things in our own home garden. We've appreciated the generosity that led to their creation and hope that the A&M Foundation can assist in keeping them maintained.

When the virus led to certain activities being cancelled, it was wonderful to have a place for inspiration and respite.
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