On April 3, the university’s senior administration announced a temporary hiring freeze as a proactive step in dealing with the economic uncertainty associated with the current public health crisis. Signed by President Ruth Watkins and Senior Vice Presidents Dan Reed and Michael Good, the letter to campus deans and directors emphasized that the freeze does not apply to University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics or other mandatory Health Academics employees.
The full letter:
As the University of Utah works with our students, faculty and staff to navigate these uncertain times, our campus community deserves our gratitude—and our full support. Accordingly, to focus available resources to support our people and ensure that we emerge well-positioned for ongoing success, we are instituting a temporary hiring freeze. This directive does not apply to University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics or other mandatory Health Academics employees, whose employees are at the forefront in helping our state manage this health care challenge. Additionally, the university will make exceptions to the hiring freeze for other essential hires, with approval from the cognizant Vice President. We know that this pause in hiring will present challenges for many of us, and we appreciate your patience, understanding and partnership as we strive to fulfill our mission as the University for Utah.
University leaders have emphasized throughout the crisis that decisions are being made based on three core values: supporting the health and well-being of students, staff and faculty; supporting the broader community as the University for Utah; and learning from the current situation to position the U for future success.
“College and department leaders have done a tremendous job being agile and innovative in the face of an unprecedented situation,” said Jeff Herring, the U’s chief human resources officer. “As the situation evolves, we’re asking managers to do everything possible to sustain our current workforce starting with a soft hiring freeze.”
Cathy Anderson, the U’s chief financial officer, says making hard decisions about hiring in the short-term will help the U recover faster once in-person services and events resume on campus. “University programs and facilities not only serve as an important source of revenue for our campus, but they also serve as an important economic engine for the state,” said Anderson. “We need to be doing everything we can now to help our community recover long-term.”