Report: NMSU staffing is top heavy
By Brook Stockberger
Las Cruces Bulletin
A reorganization is in order at New Mexico State University and the school hopes such a move could save up to $53 million.
The more than 3,000 staff employees – excluding the about 900 faculty members – learned Tuesday, Sept. 22 there will be changes on the way in how jobs will be approached and how hierarchy will function throughout the learning institution.
For the immediate future, that means no staff reductions.
An intensive 10-week, $620,000 study shows New Mexico State University “The NMSU we know today cannot sustain the marketplace of tomorrow,” University President Garrey Carruthers said. “We never have money to do anything (inventive).”
He said the school cannot continue to cut budget in reaction to declining enrollment, increased costs and shrinking federal research funding. In addition, Standard & Poor’s issued notice that NMSU was downgraded from AA to AA-Outlook is Stable credit rating due to declines in enrollment and operating deficits.
A new path was needed
NMSU hired the company Deloitte Consulting to
study the university and develop plans to find savings.
No staffing cuts planned
“I asked if we were overstaffed,” Carruthers said. Deloitte responded that staffing organization was more out of line than were staffing levels.
So while a hiring freeze remains at the university, there are no cuts planned. Carruthers, though, said he understands one can “never say never.” He said he does not want to say there will never be cuts and paint himself into a corner.
“We may or may not be overstaffed,” Carruthers said.
“Many workers have management titles,” Carruthers said. “We don’t want to have any manager managing less than three people.”
The report shows that NMSU should have a manager- to-staff ratio of more like eight to one.
The university also needs to reduce management layers. Span of control, the number of levels between staff and management, should ideally be about four. At NMSU that number is six.
The Deloitte report suggests NMSU “consolidate management responsibilities university wide.”
Deloitte reports there is “considerable fragmentation.” The company found work being performed is distributed broadly across the university.
“Academics are always decentralized,” Carruthers said. “But it causes problems.”
Carruthers said some employees will find their roles redefined or they may even be reassigned.
“We spent a lot of money (on the consultants), so we’re going to be following up immediately on their report,” he said.
Brook Stockberger may be reached at 680-1977 or email@example.com