Citing a projected deficit of as much as $30-million, the University of Florida announced today an immediate freeze on hiring. The freeze applies to faculty and staff positions at all university units statewide, although exceptions will be considered for positions paid for through nonstate sources, such as clinical revenue, contracts, and grants. No layoffs are planned.
Florida universities are facing a financial squeeze because the governor vetoed a tuition increase for the coming year, and the Legislature changed the way it supports the institutions. But Gov. Charlie Crist withdrew his objections last week to a measure that will allow the universities to raise tuition in subsequent years.
J. Bernard Machen, president of the University of Florida, said in a written statement that the hiring freeze “was not an easy decision,” but was necessary “to make sure that we continue to give our students the classes and other services they need.” Among other deficit-reduction measures, Mr. Machen said he would appoint a panel of faculty and staff members and students to help identify ways to reduce costs. —Charles Huckabee