A Very Slushy Hiring Freeze

By Watching Adams Staff – 11/9/15

Often times, Adams State University (ASU) employees are told that a “hiring freeze” currently in effect prevents a position from being re-hired or is justification for denying the creation of a new position to serve a need the university might have. This is understandable, if only it were applied evenly. But too often, this “hiring freeze” is a very slushy policy in which certain positions will be re-hired while others are not.

For example, the current Payroll Manager is retiring and the position is being filled again. However, the vacant Technology Librarian position has not been filled. So is there a hiring freeze? One employee observed, “If there is a hiring freeze on this campus, why isn’t the campus informed about it, as would be typical practice for an organization? The answer: there isn’t one, except selectively. Richardson Hall is obviously exempt; VPAA Frank Novotny’s assistant position was also replaced post-freeze.”

ASU administration has justified hiring decisions based on the maintenance of “core student services,” yet it is difficult to imagine how a Technology Librarian is not central to student learning at Adams State.

Not only is the ASU hiring freeze slushy, it continues to perpetuate ongoing salary discrepancies already known to the institution (see CUPA Data Reveals Longstanding Pay Inequities at Adams State). For the Payroll position, the salary range is advertised as “$45,000-$49,000 based on education and experience.” This position doesn’t require even a Bachelors degree, yet pays much more than any number of faculty and staff positions that require a Masters or PhD. If ASU is in the business of promoting the virtue of higher education, it should start with compensation structures that reflect educational qualifications.

ASU administration should be open and transparent about this ongoing “hiring freeze” as it appears to be a convenient and selectively-applied excuse for an administration that prefers to keep decision-making an opaque and self-serving practice. Everyone can enjoy a good slushy, but a slushy hiring freeze simply creates a headache for campus morale.