University of Connecticut officials informed their employees Monday they have extended the hiring freeze to include vacant teaching positions.

“Most positions will need to remain vacant while the University resolves its projected operating deficits,” interim UConn President Phil Austin wrote the university’s 6,300 employees.

When department heads feel it is “essential” to fill certain vacancies they can still appeal to top UConn officials. Michael Kirk, a spokesman for UConn, said filling necessary teaching positions will remain a priority.

“It takes a certain number of professors to continue to offer the courses that need to be offered,” he said.

This announcement comes one month after Provost Peter Nicholls wrote employees informing them all non-teaching hiring decisions would be delayed as the university works to close its $46 million deficit for the upcoming year.

UConn faces a nearly $25 million a year cut from the state and has already voted to increase tuition and fees by 2.5 percent to make up about one-third of that. Deeper cuts could be imposed if the Malloy administration does not reach agreement with unions on labor cost reductions.

“As you know, the financial challenges facing the State and the University are extremely serious. For the next several months and possibly beyond, the fiscal situation creates the need to use even tighter controls over expenditures than exist at present,” Austin wrote.

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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