Ohio University eliminates 81 positions, 23 expected to be refilled


FILE – This June 12, 2006 file photo shows a gate with a historic marker on the Ohio University campus in Athens, Ohio. (AP Photo/Joe Maiorana, File)

ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio University announced 81 employees were notified their positions have been eliminated. As part of divisional reorganizations, OU expects to rehire 23 of these positions for an anticipated net reduction of 58 positions. 

This is the third round of personnel cuts at Ohio University. On May 1, Ohio University implemented the first significant personnel reduction in response to the financial impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

15 days later on May 15, Ohio University issued non-renewal notices to 53 instructional faculty members while abolishing 149 positions held by administrators.

So far, more than 400 positions have been eliminated or left vacant at Ohio University.

This personnel reduction includes classified employees, which were the only employee group not impacted by earlier reductions. This decision follows civil service reform measures, which were approved at the June 19 Board of Trustees meeting. 

A total of 63 classified positions, 17 administrative positions, and one hourly research position that is classified as non-bargaining unit/unclassified have been eliminated across the institution. Of those positions, 44 positions are part of an administrative support reorganization in the College of Arts and Sciences.

In order to create a college centralized service model, the College of Arts & Sciences will post 23 new jobs: 20 classified and three administrative. The remaining 38 eliminated positions are in various academic and administrative units across the University. 

As you know, the University faced budget challenges prior to the pandemic as a result of shifting enrollments, which has made it necessary for us to respond with even more urgency to address our new realities. Prior to the pandemic, the University implemented a series of measures to reduce costs, including a voluntary separation and retirement program for tenured faculty and administrators who hold faculty rank and enacting more restrictive university spending guidelines. Additionally, we implemented operational efficiencies through increased scrutiny for hiring and a mandatory post-pandemic furlough for non- bargaining unit faculty and staff.

Most of the institution’s operating costs are in personnel, which has necessitated difficult decisions that we recognize have a significant impact on our employees, their families, and the communities in which we serve. This is a painful time for our entire community, especially for those whose jobs have been affected. We are truly sorry for the personal and professional impact on each of these individuals.

M. Duane Nellis, Ohio University President

Classified employees who were notified that their positions have been eliminated received a 14-day notice followed by severance benefits based on their years of service. Administrative employees received a 90-day notice, followed by eligible severance benefits.

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