Thirteen Yale Security employees are being laid off as the department reorganizes, and some officials say the shake-up could make the campus less safe.
Administrators said the restructuring will improve campus security, open career opportunities and save money. On balance, two managerial positions have been eliminated because 11 new posts were added when the 13 people were fired; at the same time, the University is also looking to fill four new patrol positions. Though most of the 13 laid-off employees applied for the new managerial positions and were offered initial interviews, all but two already have been told they will not be rehired, according to a Security official who requested anonymity to avoid jeopardizing job prospects.
“Security is going to change dramatically, and not for the better,” the official said.
Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith, who oversees campus security, declined to comment on the results of the search process but said only laid-off security personnel can apply for the four new patrol positions. She also said she is aware that some Security officials have been upset about the changes.
“People are always anxious about their jobs,” Highsmith said.
She said she cannot predict how many of the 13 people who were laid off will be offered new positions. Still, she said, Yale Security is actually growing and will eventually have two more employees than before the reorganization.
But two Security officials said the changes have made campus less safe by eliminating personnel with years of valuable experience.
The University has moved on to interviewing external candidates, one of the officials said, adding that the laid-off workers have a combined 110 years of Yale Security experience and one had been at Yale for 26 years.
Highsmith said she has held four town hall meetings with security workers, two in December and two January, to make sure they understand and can adapt to the changes, which she expects to be completed in the next month.
As part of the reorganization, Yale Security has been split into two forces: one that manages the University’s technical security systems and one that manages the guards. The changes do not affect the day-to-day operations of the Yale Security guards, administrators said.
One of the security officials who opposes the changes said the reorganization has unnecessarily convoluted the department’s chain of command. But administrators say Security employees will now be able to better develop the specialized skill for patrol and technical services.
University Secretary Linda Lorimer said budget cuts were the main reason for Yale Security’s reorganization.