GHSU will lay off about 150 people

Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 2:37 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 9:12 AM
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Faced with needing to increase some services while reducing other expenses, Georgia Health Sciences University will lay off about 150 people as it proceeds with integration, President Ricardo Azziz said Monday.

“We need to grow, and we are actually investing in a large number of areas,” he said, “But to do that, in an environment like ours, we have to be as effective and efficient as possible.”

About two-thirds of those – 100 – will be in its clinical system, Medical College of Georgia Hospital and Clinics and Physicians Practice Group. Those positions either have been eliminated or probably will be in the next two weeks, Azziz said.

About 50 other positions will be eliminated over the next 30 to 60 days. About 350 vacant positions also were chopped. Azziz said he addressed the campus now because rumors of a large, across-the-board layoff were rampant.

“The anxiety level is too high,” he said.

The move would trim about 1.5 percent of the university’s 10,000 positions.

The plan was given some “urgency” by the need to increase revenue and address budget cuts the university has had and will face in the future, he said.

Gov. Nathan Deal asked state agencies to cut 2 percent of their budgets for this fiscal year and next to help balance the budget, which would be about $600,000 for the university.

The Legislature cut $1.2 million from the university’s direct appropriation for this fiscal year, and GHSU has lost about $40 million in state funding over the past few years. The health system was helped last year by $14 million in previous year revenue that will not recur this year.

There is also about $8 million more in depreciation and interest this fiscal year because of capital projects.

Azziz cautioned, however, that the move to cut personnel was not so much a result of budget cuts as to a strategic shift, building up areas of emphasis such as cancer and heart disease, and eliminating operations that no longer made sense.

“I don’t want people to get the impression that somehow this is only about budget cuts,” Azziz said. “This is about strategically deciding what you are going to invest in, and what you can’t invest in any longer.”

Most of the cuts were “distributed” across different units, he said. About half of those eliminated were in management or administrative support, he said.

“You would expect that as we leverage our integration, as we actually benefit from our integration, that administrative and management positions would be the ones that would become duplicative,” Azziz said.

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whyme 09/27/11 - 11:55 am
Speaking of this PPG, maybe

Speaking of this PPG, maybe they should look at those huge packages that they give their medical staff there. Bet they could save a bundle if they stop paying for their kids' educations, car insurance, etc. Guess the rationale is to keep the top dogs in top salaries to make MCG (yes, that's it's real name as far as I'm concerned) competitive and on the cutting edge of medicine, two wonderful phrases that means everyone is getting ripped off but a few.

augusta citizen
augusta citizen 09/27/11 - 11:58 am
All of this is "not cool"!

All of this is "not cool"!

Shaky Main
Shaky Main 09/27/11 - 12:12 pm
Perhaps the Augusta Chronicle

Perhaps the Augusta Chronicle needs to re-investigate the administration's pay. I've heard that some VP's have been given lower titles (AVP, Director, etc.) with reduced duties, but have their salaries been cut accordingly? The AC should also look at the GHSU/UGA Partnership in Athens (especially if they are adding jobs there). The Athens campus was supposed to be a "child" of the "parent" university in Augusta. I bet Athens doesn't teach the same classes (or in the same way) and that the administrators in Augusta don't truly have rule over the Athens faculty / staff. That Athens campus was originally the MCG Satellite Campus in Athens but was then quickly renamed as a partnership. More like UGA saying that they'll grow the medical college program in Athens as they see fit, but will use GHSU's accreditation to do so. Some "partnership."

bassman 09/27/11 - 12:17 pm
just to let everyone know.

just to let everyone know. The hospital is no longer Government, it is privately owned. The school is the only side that is "government".

2hot4u 09/27/11 - 02:13 pm
Dont forget that state

Dont forget that state employees have already been furloughed in recent years and haven't had any raises in several years. It appears that most of the people who will lose their jobs are middle class people already struggling to make ends meet.

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