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University of Alaska sends layoff notices to nearly all HR employees amid redesign

The University of Alaska sent layoff notices to nearly all of its human resources employees Monday amid a statewide overhaul of its HR offices.

UA will transition from four HR offices — a statewide office and three campus organizations — to just one office, according to a letter Monday from UA President Jim Johnsen to university faculty and staff. It’s an effort to improve services and increase efficiencies in Alaska’s public university system, he said.

“We are taking this step to improve UA system human resources services to not only offer you a better HR experience, but also because budget cuts have left fewer HR employees managing increased workloads,” Johnsen said.

Forty-eight HR employees received layoff notices Monday, which are effective Sept. 14, said UA spokeswoman Robbie Graham. That’s all of UA’s HR employees except three who are under contract, she said.

The employees can apply for jobs under the new HR structure starting next Monday, Graham said.

The new HR structure will have a similar number of jobs as the current one, according to UA, but there will be fewer director positions. There will still be HR staff across campuses, Graham said.

UA expects the redesign to result in cost savings due to “fewer directors, new compensation structure and the streamlining of services," according to a FAQ document posted on the university system’s website. Graham said she didn’t have information Tuesday on how much money UA expected to save.

UA has roughly 6,700 employees across the system including faculty, staff and temporary employees, she said.

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