Center to aid newly laid-off Yale staff

The total number of Universitywide layoffs has yet to be determined, but administrators are proceeding with the opening of a new career center on Monday for laid off employees.

In his Feb. 27 memo, Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Michael Peel suggested March 31 as the date by when Yale managers should announce layoffs to their staffs. That date has passed. Details on layoffs will finalize within the next two to four weeks, Peel explained, because some department managers have not yet figured out how to lower their budgets by 7.5-percent in staff salary costs.

Peel said Thursday that the University is announcing budget plans “just a little bit slower than … originally thought.” Although University projections on staff attrition indicate that as many as 300 employees could be laid off as Yale copes with economic malaise, Peel said Thursday that the “overwhelming majority” of University jobs removed so far have been achieved through attrition.

“It’s still a little hard to completely rack it up,” Peel said. “[But] it’s far less significant than it might have been.”

Nonetheless, to help all soon-to-be-displaced employees, University officials announced in February the creation of a career center, to provide, among other things, training sessions, resume workshops and lectures on job searching. In an exclusive tour with the News on Thursday, five human resources officials — including the center’s new director and the Director of Internal Placement, Sheila Sautter — showcased the new resource center, which is located on the second floor of 155 Whitney Ave., before it opens services Monday.

Today, human resources generalists and officials from across the University will tour the center as part of a voluntary orientation. Throughout next week, employees previously notified of their leave will be allowed to visit the center to inquire about employment programs.

In the five rooms that comprise the center, there are fax machines, copy machines, two conference rooms, projectors, two rows of computers with human resources software and various goodies and trinkets, such as a refrigerator, to provide services for soon-to-be-displaced employees. Its newly appointed manager, Elena McHugh ’90, said the Human Resources department is aiming to provide visiting workers with an opportunity to sit down, read a newspaper and have their lunch. (On the large conference table in Room 226, the main room of the career center, will be copies of the New Haven Register, Connecticut Post and Chronicle of Higher Education.)

“This is going to be a real holding environment,” McHugh said during the tour.

The center is being planned as a short-term resource, Peel said. The Whitney Avenue location eventually will be gutted to create the new campus for the School of Management.

Human resources officials said the career center will have one permanent staffer and one fully employed consultant, hired from the career transition firm Right Management. The latter will host presentations to groups of workers and one-on-one sessions with employees to discuss various topics, including resume tweaking and job searching.

Peel said the cost to create the center was minor: All the furnishings were spare items found throughout the University, and much of the career center cost came from the renewable six-month contract with Right Management.

Donna Cable, senior director of employee relations and staffing, said a major goal for the career center — and for the University — is to relocate displaced employees to other positions across departments.

Yale managers have been working with their human resources generalists to figure out how to prevent layoffs, University officials said, but so far, only the School of Management publicly has announced cuts to its staff.

Comments

  • dean

    call it the school of mismanagement.