With these efforts, I can confidently reiterate what I have said many times: There is no cause for alarm. There is, however, cause for continued purposeful action and attention to address the deficit in our central university funds.
As a preventative measure that gives us increased flexibility and responsiveness for our future, effective immediately, I am authorizing a hiring pause and analysis as we continue to work through the complex Budget Optimization Initiative. I want to ensure that before we make commitments to hiring additional personnel, we have intentionally and thoroughly refined our understanding of the deficit situation and developed actionable strategies that position the university for sustainable growth and success. We must ensure that we have the ongoing resources needed to honor all additional new-hire commitments while closing our structural deficit once and for all. This pause will allow us to take meaningful steps toward effectively resolving the deficit and preserving our financial agility in the future. I believe that adopting this pause in hiring and salary-impacting actions, even temporarily, constitutes wise, proactive stewardship of our institutional resources.
I know we will have critical personnel needs during this hiring pause and it will be imperative we resolve those needs. Decision-making criteria will be put in place to allow colleges and unit heads to propose critical-need hires and related personnel actions, and we will develop and implement processes to allow leadership to review and make decisions related to critical hiring and salary actions. We also know that right before the Fall semester is when we hire many adjuncts, temporary staff, and students. While this pause means that all hiring actions need to be carefully thought through, we understand these positions are needed to operate and filling temporary positions in critical areas will not be interrupted.
To be clear and direct, and to address any unfounded speculation or concerns before they arise, let me state that this is not about layoffs or furloughs. This is about taking the time to strategically analyze every position as it becomes vacant in the normal course of our work before we rehire for that position.
I have every confidence that by using a mix of well-planned and executed strategies, we can close this structural deficit and ensure that future generations of students, faculty and staff enjoy the financial resiliency that will result from our collective work. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation as we prepare for this next step in our evolution as an institution.