Fellow Bears,

In the last few days, I have heard numerous concerns regarding upcoming reorganizations and feel it is important to share what I know right now. In December, we had a town hall to discuss work to be done this spring related to reorganizations, as well as ongoing budget challenges. Over the last several months, ideas such as Administrative Service Centers (ASCs) and personnel reductions in areas like Academic Affairs and Student Affairs have emerged as ways to redeploy resources in support of changing needs. In recent weeks, conversations with a number of people, including the cabinet, President’s Leadership Council, deans, unit leaders, business managers, and others have occurred. These conversations are critical to the transparent and collaborative shared decision-making process we care about. Naturally, as more people have been involved in these conversations, members of our community have shared concerns about what they have heard. 

Some of the concerns that have come to me are in line with the direction in which we are headed, while others may be overstated. I recognize the emotional toll this has on many of you. I also know that the answer you want is whether or not these changes will impact you or the colleague who works next to you. We are still determining those details and do not have final or definitive answers to that question today. 

The Administrative Service Center concept, sometimes referred to as shared service centers, has been successfully implemented at a number of universities and is currently being adapted for use at UNC. ASCs will allow us to deploy specialists to more effectively deliver services. It will also allow us to redistribute personnel and resources to better serve the priorities identified in our Strategic Enrollment and Student Success Plan, such as admissions and advising. We are working on a document that provides additional information about ASCs to share next week.

At this point, decisions are still being weighed and finalized. What we do know is making these changes will result in layoffs and elimination of vacant positions. Although an exact number is not yet known, our current projection is that approximately 65 people could be laid off across campus. Our timeline calls for decisions to be finalized in mid-March, with notification to impacted employees and campus occurring between late March and mid-April. We have to balance taking the time to get this right with our desire to be as direct as possible as soon as we can. We could have made quick decisions or across the board cuts. Instead, we have committed to a strategic and deliberate process of tuning our organizational structure in order to meet our budget imperatives and ensure we are able to invest in the needs of our students.

While we know these decisions are necessary, I care about the people impacted by them. We are committed to paying at least two months of salary for employees whose positions are eliminated this spring. Marshall Parks and his team will work with displaced employees to identify open positions on and off campus. Human Resources is also working to identify additional ways that we can provide support to these members of our community. 

I am sorry not everyone is learning this news directly from me. I know that this has a human impact and that many of you are experiencing anxiety amid the uncertainty as final plans are developed. As I have always done, I promise to keep you informed as quickly as is possible as changes are finalized. In the meantime, if you have questions or concerns, you are always welcome to reach out to me directly.  
Thank you for your patience and ongoing commitment to our students and the University.


Andy Feinstein
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