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Posted on Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

EMU cuts 81 positions ranging from highly paid administrators to hourly laborers

By Cindy Heflin

(This story was revised to correct information about positions that were not filled following retirements.)

Eastern Michigan University cut a total of 81 full and part-time positions last month, saving $4.24 million in salaries, information obtained through an Freedom of Information Act request shows.

The number represents about 4 percent of the university’s nearly 2,000 employees. Total savings, including benefits, as a result of the cuts were expected to be $5.4 million, EMU said last month.


The Halle Library on the Eastern Michigan University campus.

File photo |

Among the positions cut, 38 were vacant. The remaining 43 resulted in layoffs, but the university has recalled some of those workers, university officials said Thursday, and only about 34 now remain laid off. Four of those were voluntary layoffs.

"We’re continuing to work through it and some people have been called back and we’re going to continue to work closely with our unions and employees and try to address things as positively as we can," said Walter Kraft, EMU vice president of communications.

The layoffs came following approval of a $281.4 million budget in which the university absorbed an $11.4 million cut in its appropriation from the state and dealt with a projected $12 million increase in expenses.

The positions cut run the gamut from administrators paid well over $100,000 per year to a vacant half-time grounds position that paid just over $12,000 per year. The cuts included 12 part-time positions.

The highest-paid position on the list is the dean of Extended Programs and Educational Outreach. The salary for that vacant position was listed at $147,359. The associate dean of the program was also cut. That position, also vacant, had a salary of $103,612. The program oversees online courses as well as off-campus locations, Kraft said.

Despite the cutting of its dean and assistant dean, the EPEO program will continue to function, Kraft said.

Among those laid off was an associate academic dean, who made $136,000. EMU also will not fill the position of an assistant dean in the College of Business, who retired and had been making $102,841.

The university also laid off its associate athletic director, whose salary was $87,565, and will not replace the recreation/intramural director, who retired and had been making $99,215. Supervision of recreation and intramural sports will be overseen by Ellen Gold, who now has the title of executive director of student well being.

Communications appeared to take a significant hit. EMU laid off an assistant manager of news services, making $51,852, a news services manager making $60,537, and its director of web communications, who made $88,182.

The list includes several secretaries, administrative associates and customer service representatives, as well as several custodial jobs.



Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

The Sr Analyst, Acad Prgm Review salary was overstated by 5% and is on medical leave-- not vacant.


Wed, Jul 20, 2011 : 3:27 a.m.

What this means, practically speaking, is even more essential tasks will be completed by grad students. I'm all in favor of grad student employees (I was one), but I'd prefer it be highly relevant to their programs (like it was for mine, back in the day). As it stands, EMU is eliminating professional positions for cheap grad labor (low, low pay, no benefits). The other thing this means, practically speaking, is students and faculty will be relying on people with minimal training, other priorities, and short term commitment. This doesn't mean grad students aren't capable; it means you're dealing with people for essential services who have a few days on the job. When this happens, a lot of simple tasks become frustrating and demoralizing. Here's one current grad student job posting: &quot;With the guidance of one or more faculty members, perform a mixture of duties necessary to the successful operation of an academic entity. These may include instruction, research, public service, administration, and duties as assigned.&quot; (See more at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Give it a couple years, and graduate assistants at EMU will be cleaning toilets (if they aren't already). Education First!

Carl Ebach

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 4:56 a.m.

I would just like to add something here. There has been some complaints about the staff of the REC/IM I think needs to be cleared up the REC/IM is not over staff if anything they are under staff for what they have to do for the REC , what they do for the university and the conmunity as a whole. As I have stated over 750,000 people use the REC every year and has it been stated by another most those are &quot;outsiders&quot; I would say over half them are that is over 350,000 people that the REC brings into EMU and the local economy every year. And that is a bad thing? Please! Everyone of those people spend money, my guess that they add between 3.5 and 7 million dollars to local economy every year. And it is done with out the businesses spending a single dime on advertising. And people compain? The REC hardly gets any advertising money almost everything done to promote local businesses is done my word of mouth by those same staff people. I have been a superviser at the REC and I have worked when there were more people in the building that we have had a football games. The REC/IM was and still is a GREAT idea that should be built upon and not slammed. To me Bob added more to EMU and local community over the last 43 than anyone else in the history of EMU and Ypsilanti and he will be greatly missed.

Carl Ebach

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

As to be laidoff , All where laidoff first then CHOOSE to retired after being laidoff! This is the SMART thing to do both for the university and the people that laidoff/retired.

Ethyl Ambrose

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 1:58 a.m.

And some were &quot;awarded&quot; the &quot;retirement&quot; option -- as a way of &quot;saving face&quot; -- because their position was going to be eliminated.

Carl Ebach

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

I didn't say it was offered. Some had earned it and took it after the layoff.

Ethyl Ambrose

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

Not everyone was offered the option to &quot;retire.&quot;

Carl Ebach

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 9:21 p.m.

Dear Cash don't treat me as being stupid. Ellen Gold is going to run the REC/IM and I think the Health Center as well. As so BOB did get laidoff and then he choose to retire after 43 years.

Carl Ebach

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 3:38 a.m.

&quot;outsiders&quot; that spend money in local business and also &quot;outsiders&quot; that often will be students! The REC helps not just EMU but the whole of the Ypsilanti area.

Ethyl Ambrose

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 1:56 a.m.

Your &quot;750,000&quot; stat includes &quot;outsiders&quot; -- those not affiliated w/EMU -- athletic groups and whatnot &quot;renting&quot; the Rec/IM.

Carl Ebach

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

The REC/IM is not over staffed it has the right amount of staffing. Over 750,000 a year use the REC what other building at EMU gets that many people going through it?

Ethyl Ambrose

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 9:27 p.m.

He only chose to retire because he &quot;offered up&quot; his position to be eliminated -- rather than his subordinate's (which was the original plan). Everyone on campus knows that the Rec/IM -- not to mention all of Student Affairs at EMU -- is overstaffed.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 8:13 p.m.

Wow! and these people are colloge edu-ma-cated? The lost productivity in all of those still working, will far out weigh any cost savings in the short term. The University of Michigan hospitals tried this some years ago. The result was a complete blunder and the lost revenue can still be felt, in those who pass story's on during work hours today. Really makes you want to do your best, when you might be next.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Another rush job article where not all the facts were gathered before the 'enter' button was pressed. Thank you to commenters who filled in for with the actual important details and did the legwork behind the story instead of quickly reading something and just pulling together a quick re-write of the information.

Jason Plowman

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:55 p.m.

I would also like to note another error... It is my understanding that the Assistant Dean at the College of Business retired also and was not part of any layoff's. The article is a bit misleading when it seems some of the &quot;cuts&quot; are being done through not filling vacancies of retiree's, etc. rather than through actual layoffs. Thanks!

Tony Dearing

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

The story has been corrected to reflect that.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

Them POLS in Lansing ought to lay themselves off.All of them can go and we'd be the better for it. Ok Ann Arbor BLUE BRAINS now it's your turn.I suspect 15% of your employees could be cut without effecting how BBU operates.Now to be fair 75% of that 15% should be HIGH LEVEL,HIGH PAID ADMINISTRATORS.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

Well the person who lost their secretary job at under $30,000 per year should be glad to know that, even if their family can't afford to eat, they funded a nice meal or two for the Board of Regents and administrators at the next board meeting.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

Wondering why there is no coverage of similar action at Concordia?


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

booker, I understand your concern. It's an unemployment issue, not a tax issue. I think folks are honed in on politics! LOL You make a valid point.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:02 p.m.

This was a story of interest to me because of the jobs lost - similar to the stories regarding Borders or Rider's Hobby Shop. It was just another indication of an economy in crisis.

tom swift jr.

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

You're kidding, right booker? you know concordia is a private institution that receives no support from the government? Your remark is absurd.

Mich Res and Alum

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

Geez, everyone just loves finding any possible reason to criticize Maybe because Concordia is a private institution and does not need to report financial matters.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

Meanwhile football continues to be supported. I hope the President enjoys the games knowing others were sacrificed for her pleasure.


Wed, Sep 21, 2011 : 1:34 a.m.

Love that football team. I have a great time at the games!


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

This seems to be very fuzzy math and communications. Almost 50% of the claimed reduction turned out to be positions not filled or not compensated for at this time (no pay checks currently). Thus, I would believe that they might have been in the budget, but not drawing any wages or benefits. On the remaining claimed reductions, 43 were laid off, but 9 called back. Good planning on the part of the EMU HR department! Nothing like laying off a valued team member on Friday and then calling them on Monday and telling them that you changed your mind. Ignoring the budget reduced positions, 9 recalled positions of the total is a miss of 20%. Not good planning, affecting the lives of those involved. Deans, Associate Deans, Assistant seems that EMU leadership, their HR department support personnel and others have built a system filled with 'upper level position' waste. Too many chielfs and not enough true workers, who should be the backbone of the organization. Each upper level position represents several true workers and lower level team members. Seems like an organization filled with waste. Wonder how they are teaching this to enrolled students?

Rose Garden

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

To state that &quot;now the rich can get bigger tax breaks&quot; is cynical. Nearly everyone understands the principle that an organization cannot spend more money than it has money available to spend. Nearly everyone understands that there must be cuts in spending in today's economy. Almost no one likes where the cuts are made. We need to accept the reality that spending cuts must take place.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.

eagleman's post about why go to EMU if there are no jobs is true. I've signed up for EMU's employement assistance shortly after graduation and every job emailed to me is literally the same few jobs posted over and over again. They are either having a lot of difficulty filling these positions or there is some extremely high turnover with these positions. On top of that, these postings are entry level to where someone straight out of high school with experience flipping burgers or stocking shelves could be easily qualified for. The postings are a joke. I understand some college grads have possibly never been employed and should start out entry level. But many EMU students and grads are working or professionals in their field trying to beef up their resume. I look at these postings and think if I had gone into debt for my education like many do, and these were the slim pickings that my school could offer me, I'd be pretty discouraged.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:55 p.m.

eagleman, the Provost position is a high paying job...higher than any that were cut.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:20 p.m.

Toofmullets, you know why corporations get tax breaks? Because they are the ones who CREATE jobs. Me and you do not create jobs. What good is it to go to EMU if there are no jobs for their college graduates? The paucity of work in this state is one reason why we are suffering a &quot;brain drain&quot;. Toofmullets and Lac Court, your party had 8 years to create an environment that was conducive for business. You failed. Whether you like it or not, business are the ones who create jobs so people can have money to create demand. It amazes me how many Democrats understand so little about basic economics. The only thing they can do is to stir up the prejudices of the toiling class through demoagoguery and neo-Marxist rhetoric.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:13 p.m.

Cash, those jobs are probably lower paying. They also might be have a different funding source. I'm not saying that is the case, but there are ways to achieve job creation AND save money.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:16 p.m.

Explain how an organization saves money by cutting some jobs and creating new ones, please.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

Cynical but correct.....

Bob Bethune

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:02 p.m.

The idea that this is about 50% smoke and mirrors is pretty hard to ignore when we say that EMU is &quot;saving money&quot; by not paying anyone to do jobs that no one is getting paid for anyway.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

When will UofM start taking a similar responsible direction in managing it's affairs. The over-administrated university is a poster child for bloated bureaucratic waste. They could cut many jobs that do nothing but shove paper from one desk to another, write and manage meaningless spreadsheets tracking data that has no purpose, maintaing two jobs that can be done by one, and allowing professors to receive a salary for teaching they don't do. If they did that they wouldn't have to raise tuition on the students to support this irresponsible behavior.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:33 p.m.

@KenBoyd You're right, Ken. Everyone should be able to make as many accusations as they want based on absolutely no evidence. Then when people discuss issues with one another, vote, or (gasp!) debate issues they'll be able to spout out whatever arguments they want even if they have no basis in reality. If you want to share your opinions about the weather or sports, be my guest. But making false--and horribly misinformed--accusations about public education and budget cuts is the epitome of a lazy electorate. P.S. - Calmer than you are.

Ken Boyd

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

@cgerben. Take a chill pill dude. It is all about opinion here. Besides, be careful of what you ask for, you may just get it.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

Please provide at least one example to back up your claim. I'm particularly interested in hearing more about &quot;teaching [the professors] don't do.&quot; Anxiously awaiting your intelligent response filled with facts as opposed to opinions.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:47 a.m.

For many years now, EMU has gone through the &quot;job cut&quot; routine. And then new jobs get &quot;created&quot;. It's the old bait and switch. I applaud cost savings...something that could be done by a true austerity plan. Cut U paid cars, cut travel, cut meals bought for &quot;meetings&quot;, etc. But this is Silly Season for governmental agencies. Cut jobs. Create new jobs. Play us like a fine-tuned instrument. For example: City of Ann Arbor <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> EMU <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Sometimes no matter how deeply you dig, a pile of manure is just that....manure.

Lac Court Orilles

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:37 a.m.

Governor Rick Snyder, Senator Randy Richardville, and Representative Rick Olson must be celebrating the layoffs as I compose this e-mail. Good job boys! Now they can justify giving wealthy an even larger tax break while the middle class parents who send their children to Eastern Michigan can look for a third minimum wage job to pay tuition.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 6:10 p.m.

What a terribly ignorant post! First, the cuts Snyder made have nothing to do with higher education.His cuts were to K-12. Say what you will about that, but Snyder has little to do with this. Secondly, universities for YEARS have seen their state funding cut. If you are going to bash anyone, bash anyone Granholm. Third, cuts have to happen. It is the height of stupidty to think that raising taxes by itself will solve our problems.We need to cut programs and raise taxes. We need a balanced approach. I'am not sure that Snyder's approach is the best way, but at least it is a step in the right direction. Finally, the cost of higher education has been exploding for years. Why? Everyone talks about health care, but they never mention that the cost of a college education has greatly increased over the past 15-20 years. People already have to take a second or third job to pay for their child's college education. Many studetns pay their own way--including myself. I have $25,000 in debt to prove it. You can agree or disagree with Gov. Snyder's policies. I myself disagree with elements of his policy. But lying or distorting the facts does not help us find a solution to our problems. It just widens the partisan gulf and creates an atmosphere that stifles cooperation.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:32 a.m.

Yes, Bob is the best. But he DID retire. And, watch the EMU job postings. Nuff said.

Carl Ebach

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

I know the whole story and it is a close you can get. He basicly took the layoff then retired to help the university save other peoples jobs. A great man is Bob.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 10:37 a.m.

I think you will find that the Director of Rec Im was not laid off, but retired after 40+ years with EMU. That makes me question the accuracy of the other positions listed.

Tony Dearing

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

@Cash, thanks for raising this issue. The story has been corrected.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Hi Catfish, I know. But he did retire, EMU didn't lay him off as the article states. :-)


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:35 p.m.

Cash, The Director &quot;retired&quot; because it was either that or the Assistant Director would be axed. He chose to save his assistant.