By: Molly Jett
Bellarmine University eliminated two Executive in Residence positions at the end of the 2018 spring semester, helping the school eliminate costs.
The decision was not taken lightly, nor were they the only budget cuts. Bellarmine University Vice President for Administration and Finance, Bob Zimlach said all areas reduced their operating budget. For example: “The switchboard part-time staff were replaced with student workers, personnel in Analytics left the University when the program was moved to a specialty track in the MBA, employee health insurance plans were revamped, there has been a reduction in the University’s contribution to the employee’s retirement plan, December graduation was eliminated, the student credit hours were decreased from 126 to 120 since the Interdisciplinary Course Program changed and a multitude of other things.”
The discussions happened throughout the year in faculty and staff meetings. The
group of people are called the Resource Management Advisory Committee (RMAC) and it will continue to help the University in a similar role.
“To become transparent with employees, efficient and student-centered,” Zimlich said, “we formed a resource management advisory that is made up of faculty and staff.”
To help identify and eliminate costs, the resource management advisory suggested a few more options. They evaluated departments and degrees, like Eastern Kentucky University has been, and they calculated tuition income from the Class of 2022 cohort. After recent meetings and evaluations, it all came down to dissolving the Executive in Residence position.
Bellarmine President Dr. Susan B. Donovan said: “It was a recommendation from the resource management advisory. [They looked at] what needed to be cut and re-allocated [to] generate new revenues.”
Two staff members left Bellarmine University after their positions as Executives in Residence phased out. Louisville’s longest-serving mayor, Jerry Abramson, accepted a position at Spalding University, and former president and publisher of The Courier Journal, Ed Manassah, retired.
Bellarmine University’s previous interim president, Dr. Doris A. Tegart, hired Abramson as the Executive in Residence in 2017. Bellarmine University’s late president, Dr. Joseph J. McGowan, hired Manassah as the Communication Department Executive in Residence in 2006.
According to a news release from Spalding
University, Abramson will teach academic programs focused on juvenile criminal justice reform and restorative practices.
“We gave priority to full-time faculty positions and other strategic positions,” Donovan said.