Officials increase staff in departments consolidated during pandemic

Media Credit: Arielle Bader | Assistant Photo Editor

Departments like Events and Venues and the Office of Communications and Marketing have listed job postings in recent weeks after implementing layoffs last year.

Updated: Sept. 7, 2021 at 1:51 p.m.

Officials have started hiring new employees in departments across the University that faced layoffs last year after lifting a freeze on most hirings put in place last March to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic’s financial impact.

The freeze on most hirings was one of many policies officials implemented to address the pandemic’s financial impact last year, including pay cuts for top administrators, the suspension of retirement contributions and 339 staff layoffs. Officials created the Resource Allocation Committee last year to determine which hires would be necessary amid the freeze and said in an email to faculty and staff in July that the fiscal year 2022 budget “produced a product” that eliminated the need for the RAC.

“Going forward, unit leaders and finance directors will resume local management of hiring decisions in accordance with established workforce management principles,” the email states.

The University’s job listing website has included postings in GW’s central communications, athletics, technology, events, and facilities divisions – departments that each faced layoffs during the pandemic. Officials are also hiring faculty and staff employees across the board in more than 20 departments, like faculty in departments from the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences to an executive assistant in the Office of the Provost.

The University has slowly begun to unwind some of its budget mitigation policies this year after announcing last December that they completed all 339 layoffs in response to the pandemic. Officials said in an email to faculty and staff in March that they were “actively preparing” for a regular cycle of faculty hiring, developing plans in late spring 2021.

“We have continually hired faculty and staff through the Resource Allocation Committee process, which has approved more than 100 hires since last May,” the email from March states.

The job openings, which are posted on GW’s official job posting website, are largely listed with a start date of early fall or late summer.

Officials began rehiring employees in the events department – which was consolidated and moved from the former Division of External Relations to the Division of Safety and Facilities last year – during the summer, with the goal of having new employees hired by the first day of classes this semester.

Paul Hegarty, the associate vice president of events, said in July that officials are accepting both internal and external applicants to the events department.

“We were very proud of all of our previous staff in events and venues and would be honored to welcome back any former staffers that are selected through the interview process, as well as welcome in the new members of the team,” Hegarty said.

GW’s job posting website currently only lists two openings for the Division of Safety and Facilities – a police sergeant and a director of environmental health and safety. An email obtained by The Hatchet last year states that laid-off staff in facilities, planning and construction management were eligible to be rehired in the future.

The communications division is hiring a University spokesperson and executive director of media relations and two digital content specialists, according to the University’s job posting website.

The Hatchet obtained documents last year that revealed that an outside consulting firm recommended consolidation of GW’s communications departments in February 2020, but when officials moved forward with a reorganization last fall, they attributed the layoffs to the financial mitigation policies implemented once the pandemic hit.

GW Information Technology is hiring a supervisor of technology support centers, a senior cloud architect and a systems engineer for cloud computing, the website states.

Officials consolidated GWIT, Academic Technologies and other technology offices in GW’s colleges into one organization last summer, and officials asked employees to reapply for a limited number of consolidated positions after the merger.

The University also posted a listing for a GWorld senior application administrator within the Division of Safety and Facilities in June. The job listing comes as undergraduate and graduate students seeking to pick up their GWorld cards or resolve technical difficulties this month have stood in lines at the GWorld Card Office for hours.

“We have been adjusting and refining our internal processes to help reduce wait times,” Scott Burnotes, the vice president for safety and facilities, said in an email. “We’ve also requested and received help from staff volunteers.”

After making major cuts last year, the Athletics department is hiring a ticket sales and operations director and a marketing strategy and fan engagement director, the website states. Job listings for multiple assistant coaching positions are also posted on Google.

This post has been updated to correct the following:

The Hatchet incorrectly reported that a job listing is open for a GWorld senior application administrator within GWIT. The position is housed within the Division of Safety and Facilities. We regret this error.

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