UM system President Gary Forsee announced a system-wide hiring freeze Monday.
Forsee wrote in an e-mail to all UM system faculty that all administrative, staff and faculty positions will cease being hired for. Betsy Rodriguez, UM system Vice President for Human Resources, said this freeze will include student employment, but not those funded by grants such as work-study.
Forsee said he activated the hiring freeze in response to the nation's worsening economic climate. Several weeks ago, the former Sprint CEO sent out a system-wide e-mail detailing the university's situation in regard to the economy.
"This was a prudent measure in light of the increasingly depressing economy," Rodriguez said. "After looking at all the indicators, we decided this was the best course of action at this time."
Each university's chancellor has the authority to override the freeze in the case of an emergency.
"There will be a process by which they can override," Rodriguez said. "So they can fill essential positions if they need."
Forsee said the UM system will re-examine its spending habits in order to be fiscally efficient during the economic crisis. Rodriguez said there is no definite timeline for when the freeze will end.
"It just depends on the economy," she said.
Forsee said he has asked each chancellor, as well as the system staff, to review and prioritize every line item of expense and capital to be sure we can provide resources for the future in the e-mail.
He said the UM system would continue to maintain its focus in providing for the state.
The e-mail stated that the freeze would provide the system with the ability to plan for the future while ensuring that the university's position is part of the solution, not just a cost to Missourians.
This freeze comes as MU continues Compete Missouri, a financial plan that aims to increase faculty salaries while not filling certain faculty positions. At time of press, it was unclear how Forsee's decision will affect it.
In a previous interview with The Maneater, MU Budget Director Tim Rooney discussed how Compete Missouri saves the university money.
"We knew last year which positions were open, (the department deans) were wanting to recruit and we said we were going to keep open some of those positions, which would have started September this last month," Rooney said. "We captured those dollars and used those dollars to help give faculty increases."