Second round of System job cuts hit construction services

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Photo Credit: Ella Williams | Daily Texan Staff

UT System Chancellor James Milliken announced a second round of layoffs and position cuts in an internal email earlier this month.

The cuts are a part of a larger move by the System to switch to a service-provider model. An October report by the System Administration Task Force found 70 to 110 full-time equivalents across the System needed to be terminated in order to remove what the report called “top-down lead initiatives,” or initiatives with a lot of bureaucratic overhead. As a result, the first 65 position cuts were initiated in January. 

This month, Milliken announced 65 positions to be cut from the Office of Facilities Planning and Construction, which oversees construction management and design of facilities at 10 UT institutions. 

 

“The changes made thus far and the ones I am announcing today are the result of reassessment of some of the functions at the system administration, and they do not reflect the dedication and contributions of our employees,” Milliken said in the email. “While that doesn’t make the consequences easier for those affected, I do want to acknowledge the good work done by many and pledge to help in any way we can with a difficult transition.”

Ten of the positions from the second round of cuts are vacant positions still included in the budget, and eight employees will be moved to different institutions across the System, Milliken said. The position reductions are to be staggered over the next twelve months to minimize interference with current construction projects. 

“There is no operational connection between UT System Construction and Project Management and Construction Services (PMCS) at UT-Austin,” PMCS director Mike Carmagnola said in an email. “Therefore, we do not anticipate any impact on PMCS related to the recent changes at UT System.”

Twelve current employees of the Office of Facilities Planning and Construction will be moved to a newly formed Office of Capital Projects, which will oversee all UT System capital projects.

The Office of Facilities Planning and Construction is just one department being reviewed for reorganization. The Office for Employee Benefits and Office of General Counsel were also named in the task force report as needing further review.