It appears that the end is not in sight for layoffs at the University of Arkansas for Medical Science, said to target approximately 45 tenured and tenure-track faculty members in addition to the elimination of 600 positions, a combination of unfilled positions and a layoff affecting 258 employees.
Dear UAMS Family,
As I said in our December Town Hall meeting, we must cut in excess of $30 million in expenses this current fiscal year to comply with our budget as approved by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees. UAMS has had financial challenges for many years and we have always made up for any shortfall by using our reserve funds. However, we are depleting our resources and we cannot continue to do that and sustain UAMS into the future.
Over the last several weeks, UAMS leadership has been conducting a comprehensive review of all areas of UAMS to identify cost savings and make adjustments. However, personnel is our largest expense and we have come to the extremely painful realization that we can’t meet our budget without also eliminating jobs. We have no choice but to reduce our workforce by almost 600 positions. We have made every effort to cut unfilled positions where possible, but 258 of the affected positions are currently occupied. The employees whose jobs are being eliminated are being notified today. Human Resources representatives will also be reaching out to them to provide services to assist them in finding other jobs.
I have been at UAMS for more than 26 years. This is an extremely sad day and the first major reduction in force that I can remember. This is not an action that anyone is taking lightly and it is not being undertaken because of performance issues but simply because we do not have the money to fund everything we have in the past. We must all support each other and especially those colleagues who are leaving us. We are very grateful to them for their many years of service to UAMS and our state.
Stephanie Gardner, Pharm. D., Ed.D.
The proximate cause of the layoffs given by management is a $30 million shortfall in the UAMS $1.5 billion budget. Ironically, nothing is being said about senior management whose lavish salaries, perks, and privileges seem excessive; especially the Dean of Medicine who is reputedly paid $600,000 while being allowed to work abroad for months in Sweden.
No reason was given for the shortfall.