The hiring freeze placed on Grand Rapids Community College in July was lifted earlier this month.
Once administrators learned the budget was greater than the projected budget from June, GRCC President Steven Ender was able to lift the hiring freeze.
“When the enrollment numbers came in, we did better than the budget,” Ender said. Actual headcount was down 1 percent, and revenue was down 2.5 percent, which left the budget $200,000 more than administrators planned.
“We froze hiring until the enrollment was solidified to determine if we would have the dollars that we projected to have in the budget,” Ender said.
The budget that was projected for this fall was set in June and was based on a comparison to the enrollment numbers from one year prior.
“We had budgeted to be down 5 percent (in headcount) this year,” Ender said. “That meant 4 percent loss of revenue, and for us that meant one and a half million dollars.”
Now, there is an effort to fill the open positions as soon as possible. Ender said positions probably would not be filled for at least two weeks.
However, there is still an issue with faculty positions, according to Frederick van Hartesveldt, GRCC’s faculty association president.
“For right now, lifting the hiring freeze does nothing for faculty, but it will eventually, assuming that the faculty ratify the contract,” van Hartesveldt said.
The faculty association is still negotiating a contract to regulate payment and evaluation. But until this matter is settled, van Hartesveldt said he will be uncomfortable with the hiring situation.
“A stable workforce is better for an institution than a transient workforce,” he said.