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Miami University freezes hiring as pandemic affects finances

<p>University administrators are still unsure when Miami professors will receive their COVID-19 vaccines. </p>

University administrators are still unsure when Miami professors will receive their COVID-19 vaccines.

On March 19, Jason Osborne, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, released a statement that Miami University would immediately freeze hiring for non-essential faculty and staff. New hires now require special approval from either Osborne or David Creamer, treasurer and vice president for finance and business services.

Osborne said the cuts were caused by “substantial budgetary implications” due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As of March 23, the virus has infected more than 350,000 people and caused more than 15,000 deaths worldwide. Sources across Ohio have confirmed more than 350 diagnoses and three deaths associated with the virus. Butler county has reported 17 coronavirus cases.

In response, Miami transferred to online learning on March 11 and advised all students who reside in dorms to leave campus by March 21. University faculty have also been advised to work remotely. In a university-wide email, President Greg Crawford said there would be “an appropriate refund of room and board.” 

“Given only remote operations are being performed at the university today [March 23], and the administration doesn't yet understand how COVID-19 may impact the university going forward, this is a prudent step for the university to implement,” Creamer wrote in an email to The Miami Student. “Once the university's administration has a better understanding of the future implications of COVID-19, the hiring restriction will be revisited.”

This decision affects only applications submitted after March 16 but follows the elimination of 137 Oxford campus positions last month. Thirty-nine of those positions were layoffs, and the remaining 97 opened through attrition which refers to the loss of employment due to natural processes and will not be refilled. 

“We are proceeding strategically with essential hires,” wrote Osborne. “We continue to remain optimistic that we will get past this crisis and at some point in the not-too-distant future, return to normal operations.”


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