News Column

Jobs Cut at Aggies Engineering Experiment Station

April 17, 2013

The Texas A&M University System has announced the elimination of 24 administrative positions at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, a move expected to save $1.5 million annually.

The cuts were announced Friday via an internal memo by M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor for engineering for the system. The reorganization went into effect Monday.

Banks, who began her role with the system in January 2012, said she started evaluating the administrative positions in November.

"It is our responsibility to the state of Texas to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible," Banks said. "When we started evaluating the programs and truly thinking about our mission as a state agency, I felt it was time to refocus our efforts on our mission."

The restructuring, she said, will allow TEES to better focus on research, workforce development and support for industry.

TEES Deputy Director Dimitris Lagoudas will oversee the reorganized agency. Heading the specific target areas will be Costas Georghiades over research initiatives and centers, Dale Cope over technology and commercialization and Teri Reed-Rhoads over workforce development.

Banks said the TEES administration was evaluated with those three core values in mind. The cuts, she said, were made so that TEES could better focus on those areas and that the money saved would be re-invested into them.

Out of the 24 eliminated positions, 10 were unfilled and one was vacant as the result of a retirement. Thirteen lost employment. The move cuts the number of TEES administrative positions from 101 to 77 and eliminates $1.5 million from what was an annual $7.5 million administrative operating budget prior to the reorganization.

The yearly operating budget for TEES is $143 million.

The specific positions were not outlined in the memo, and Banks said that the cut positions were in roles such as information technology support, administrative assistants or on the business staff.

"These decisions were made because of reorganization, certainly not because of their performance," Banks said.

The system will pay the 13 laid-off employees for two additional months, provide career counseling and work with other system officials to try and find them new jobs, Banks said.

"As [TEES] approaches its 100th anniversary of service to the state of Texas, it is critically important to remember that organizational flexibility and adaptability have allowed TEES to remain relevant, effective and responsive to the needs of the state and nation," wrote Banks in the memo.


(c)2013 The Eagle (Bryan, Texas)

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: Copyright Eagle (Bryan, TX) 2013

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