Hiring, spending freeze to affect campus life

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Faculty and staff need to hold tight to those pens, highlighters and other supplies because as of March 14, a hiring and spending freeze was placed on ULM.
News broke through an email sent by Bill Graves, the vice president of Business Affairs, to all faculty and staff saying that there would be a hiring and spending freeze placed on ULM until the fiscal year ends on June 30, 2019.
In the email, Graves said, “Only must-need positions will be approved for hiring. Supply and other essential items for clinical programs will not be impacted but will require the appropriate vice president’s approval.”
According to Graves, there are multiple reasons for the hiring and spending freeze.
Graves said that one reason was due to the lower enrollment rate at ULM this year and “lower than expected tuition revenues.”
Another reason for the hiring and spending freeze is the issues that occurred with the accreditation of pharmacy, according to Graves.
In Feb. 2018, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education reassigned the Doctor of Pharmacy from accredited to accredited with probation based on administrative, budgetary and hiring issues.
This issue was resolved in July 2018, but posed a challenge to the fiscal budget for 2018-2019 year.
“The accreditation issues required for us to put additional funding into the program which creates a budget challenge,” Graves said.
While the funding issues have occurred Niko Perez, SGA senator, said it is important reevaluate what is most important at times.
“I think better management of cost and expenditures would help such as conducting an evaluation to determine what’s their most effective resource so they can cut the spending for the least effective ones,” Perez said.
Derle Long, the director of School of Visual and Performing Arts, said that ULM is trying to bring the best for the students.
“The ULM administration is trying to make sure we make it to the end of this fiscal year while continuing to provide the highest level academic programs and learning environment for our students,” Long said.
While this may affect full time faculty and staff, Graves said that student workers should not fear the freeze to hurt them or their positions on campus.
For positions that were already in the process of hiring, there is no need to worry.
Long said that they were currently looking for someone to fill a dance faculty position and because the process of hiring started before the freeze, they are still capable of filling that position.
While this has not caused issues for students or faculty on campus yet, Graves said he was very optimistic about next year’s budget.
“We feel this freeze will help stabilize our budget as we head into a new fiscal year,” Graves said.