In a campus-wide e-mail last week, College President R. Barbara Gitenstein announced the reorganization of her cabinet. The changes come in response to the recently proposed state budget cuts and the retirement of two key officials, Robert Drake and Jesse Rosenblum.
While the retirements were announced last year, they will not go into effect until this June, as “institutional needs” required their attention, Gitenstein said. “I needed them to get through the reorganization process,” she added.
On July 1, when the changes go into effect, the office of College Relations, which originally fell under Rosenblum’s jurisdiction, will become the Office of College and Community Relations, merging with the current Office of Community Relations, which currently oversees community affairs activities and major events.
Drake’s position, vice president for Administration and Organizational Development, will remain unfilled. Administration and Environmental Services, Human Resources and Organization Development will, under the reorganizations, report to Barbara Wineberg, treasurer. Auxiliary Services will report to Mary-Elaine Perry, dean of Student Life. Facilities will report to Stephen Briggs, provost/vice president of Academic Affairs and Legal Affairs will report to Gitenstein.
With the restructuring also came the announcement that the position of associate vice president for Information Technology and Student Services, currently held by Nadine Stern, will, effective as of the e-mail, change to Chief Information Officer.
“The changes do not reflect a change in status, rather, it more precisely reflects her role at the College,” Gitenstein said in the e-mail.
Payroll will not be affected by the changes. All employees transferred as a result of the restructuring will receive the same amount of money as in previous years.
“Unfortunately, everyone’s having to work harder now with no extra money,” Gitenstein said.
Drake and Rosenblum left the College under the Early Retirement Incentive program. The program, which was sponsored last year by the state and by the public colleges in N.J., was designed to help cut back the amount of money spent per year on personnel costs.
In exchange for early retirement, extra money is put into the retirees pension funds. While some of this money comes from the state, the College also contributes to the payment.
According to Gitenstein, many officials were encouraged to retire under the program, to help reduce costs and to make the College run more efficiently.
The program was in effect for last year only, and has not been renewed for coming years.
“When I found out about the huge cuts, I did as I did last year – look first at personnel costs,” Gitenstein said. “Those are our two biggest expenditures, scholarships and personnel.”
While the College looks for ways to reduce costs and to run more efficiently, Gitenstein said that she will do everything in her power to keep current jobs.
Ultimately, however, she said personnel reorganizations were the best way to reduce costs without directly affecting academics and the health and safety of students.
“Personnel we can modify.,” she said. “We can have cuts and reorganizations in staff and administration,” she said. “That’s what this is about. It’s a response to the budget crisis,” Gitenstein added.
This isn’t the end, either, Gitenstein added.
“There will be more reorganizations coming, as we deal with this budget crisis. Everyone has been wonderful about it, however,” she said. “Everyone has been so willing to take on extra responsibility to help maintain the quality of our services.”