The Texas A&M University System announced a hiring freeze among non-faculty administrative employees on Friday that's intended to cut costs and redirect money toward academics system-wide.
A&M System Chancellor John Sharp said any hiring decision from here on out at Texas A&M University in College Station, the health science center or the system's Galveston campus will have to be signed off on by the university’s interim president, Mark Hussey.
“This represents an opportunity for our leaders to reevaluate their ability to focus more resources on their core deliverables of teaching and research while containing other non-core expenses,” Sharp said.
In addition to the hiring freeze, system officials said they intend to redirect money set aside for positions that are currently open but not filled. They said this would immediately allow $7.7 million to be channeled toward the classroom and research, with a "cumulative potential of $203.9 million over the coming five years."
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The announcement followed the completion of the first phase of a comprehensive review by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers that was commissioned in part to help A&M address the growing trend of rising administrative costs in higher education.
The review pinpointed 730 non-faculty positions that could be eliminated and have their funding redistributed to academics. System officials indicated they could meet their goals through natural attrition and management of currently vacant positions.
Sharp said the second half of the audit, expected to begin on Monday, will include the A&M System's regional universities, which will also be under the hiring freeze.
“It is our duty to ensure we are operating as efficiently as possible in order to meet our mission of excellence,” Sharp said.
Disclosure: The Texas A&M University System and Texas A&M University in College Station are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune.