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Some decentralization okay

By Clara B. Cox

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 16 - January 19, 1995

Several decentralization pilot proposals submitted by the university have been approved for implementation, Ann Spencer, associate vice president for personnel and administrative services, reported to the Commission on Classified Staff Affairs at its January meeting.

Spencer said she had not had time to review the approvals, which had just arrived, but she did say that the layoff and grievance decentralization pilot proposals were not among those approved. She will report on the approved pilots at the commission's February 8 meeting.

The commission also discussed the governor's recent edict to eliminate games from computers. Tony Sutphin said the governor had sent a letter to deans, directors, and department heads about removing the games and said he would distribute copies to the commission members.

"If it's a policy statement, we need to get it into the hands of everyone on campus," Chairman Fred Phillips said.

Several commission members questioned the reasoning behind the edict and expressed displeasure at having to spend time discussing it. "It's a departmental thing," Wyatt Sasser said.

A discussion also ensued about the impact of possible budget cuts to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as proposed by the governor. According to Wayne Worner, interim dean of the College of Education, "The magnitude of what is being proposed in agriculture is five-fold what we (the College of Education) went through. It's horrendous to speculate on. It has ripple effects across the whole university; it's not just an agriculture issue."

Another discussion centered around the incentive buy-out policy. "It sounds like the agency has the option to decide if a person gets the money, or gets to work for the state to the end of the year. Is that right?" John Ashby asked.

Spencer agreed but said the intent is "to try to protect that employee who has expressed an interest in the incentive plan from being laid off." She encouraged employees interested in the plan to talk immediately to their department heads about their intentions.

"It's still a craps shoot," Ashby said.

The commission also discussed the layoff policy, which Spencer said will be placed on the mainframe; the need to plan training for employees who change jobs on campus as a result of cutbacks; and the academic-year appointment program, which will be implemented as early as this summer.