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NMSU eliminated 727 jobs at Las Cruces campus since 2011

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — New Mexico State University has eliminated 727 faculty and staff positions at its Las Cruces campus since 2011 due in part to a steady decline in enrollment and state appropriations.

Chancellor Garrey Carruthers told the Las Cruces Sun-News (http://bit.ly/2jBZszt) that the need to examine the staffing levels and “right-size” the university was apparent before enrollment and appropriations became an issue.

The university in 2015 contracted with a consulting firm to examine staffing levels and organization structures on the campus. The study found the school to be top-heavy, with too many managers overseeing too few employees. A campus-wide reorganization is nearing completion.

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“This has been a problem we’ve needed to address for several years,” Carruthers said.

All told, the university has eliminated 64 faculty positions and 663 staff positions since 2011 — a reduction of more than $17 million per year in payroll.

While the university has reduced permanent and temporary faculty positions, it is paying its faculty more.

“We wanted to be more competitive with our peers,” Carruthers said.

Carruthers said that decision was made by the NMSU regents prior to his taking the job as chancellor, but the final two salary adjustments were made on his watch.

As a result, the university is paying about $3.7 million more in faculty salaries than it did in 2011, despite having 64 fewer faculty members.

Carruthers said he is optimistic that the university is on track to become more efficient moving forward.

“Many of the hard decisions have been made,” Carruthers said. “Now, when oil prices go up, or appropriation or enrollment goes up, we’ll be able to make some incredible, strategic investments in some new programs.”

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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com

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