April 29, 2002

Hiring Freeze Accomplishes

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The University hiring freeze that was implemented last fall was lifted April 15 for externally funded positions based on a recommendation made by the Workforce Planning Team. The Workforce Planning Team was established in November by President Hunter R. Rawlings III to lead reviews of nonacademic staffing requirements across the campus.


“[The objectives of the Team are to] clearly define roles, responsibilities, standards of performance, and accountabilities within each major administrative area and function throughout the University; realize substantial and on-going financial savings as well as increased effectiveness and efficiency in support services across campus; and improve competitive market-pay position for staff,” says the Division and Planning Website.

The hiring freeze was put into effect in conjunction with the Workforce Planning Team. Through the course of the hiring freeze the team received reports from Human Resources and started reviews of various departments.

Community Impact

“Objectives of the hiring freeze [were] to let the community know the impact of the recession from [Sept. 11]. This is a time when we need to look at our spending. And it also gave us some short time savings,” said Inge Reichenbach vice president for alumni affairs and development, and member of the Workforce Planning Team.

Based on the reports that the committee got from Human Resources, the Workforce Planning Team came to the decision to recommend that the hiring freeze be lifted for externally funded positions. Though the actual savings amount cannot be determined, according to a press release analysis of payroll expenditures shows that the hiring freeze did result in financial savings.

“We really felt the objectives were met. [The freeze] has started the process of looking at administrative functions and staffing requirements across campus, and [got] the departments thinking about business in the long run. Financial pressures are understood now on campus. People understand limitations. People understand the budget,” said Phil Streeter, member of the Workforce Planning Team and senior project director.

Though the freeze has been lifted for externally funded positions, the freeze on other University positions will not be lifted until June 30. In the meantime the Workforce Planning Team will continue to work on reviews through self-study of the various major administrative units that they had originally planned on addressing. Currently the team has three reviews underway in Human Resources, Financial Processing and alumni reviews and development. In the future there will be reviews of Student Services, facilities, and information technology support.

“Through revenue enhancement strategies, review of academic and other programs, and workforce planning efforts, I am confident that we will continue to maintain strong financial health of the institution and balance the budget for years to come,” said Rawlings as reported by the Cornell News Service.

Archived article by Carrie Tremblatt