Not Firing By Not Hiring
President Stratsi Kulinski handed out some “tough love” to the AUBG staff and employees present at the Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at BAC Auditorium. Kulinski shared the conclusions of the world-class consultants who evaluated AUBG in the summer and introduced his “aggressive but realistic timeline” for the restructuring of the university’s organization.
“The consultants said we have twice as many employees as we need,” noted Kulinski. However, the president assured people that he won’t just go on a firing spree, but would rather “avoid firing by not hiring.” According to Kulinski’s words, “the goal is to not fill the positions of employees who are retiring.” He then added that the staff will be given the chance of applying for a new position should theirs be no longer available.
Nevertheless, the president was direct with the audience and revealed that 22 positions, or “roughly 7%,” will not exist in the new organization. Kulinski explained that reevaluation practices such as these are something that every organization does and “AUBG has been fortunate to be sheltered throughout the years.” He urged the employees to speak with their supervisors and to speak up if they think of a way to help AUBG with the problems that it faces. Ultimately, the university will “make absolutely sure the focus is employees” and will offer support and help with the transitioning.
Kulinski announced several organizational changes for the university such as the new Enrollment and Student Journey department. The latter’s function would be to manage the student relationships “from the first marketing point of contact.” The department’s main goal would be retention of students and student interest given that
“it’s much easier to retain a student than getting a new one interested.” Another aspect of the new organization is the People and Organization department which will focus on how to “attract, retain, and fairly compensate employees.”
The president hopes that with the implementation of the new organization processes, the university will finally deal with some of the “negative stuff going on in AUBG such as inefficiency, overlap of functions, lack of autonomy and collaboration” uncovered by the consultants. “Significant adjustments will need to be made. However,” Kulinksi stressed, “it’s important that the university takes steps toward self-sustainability.”
“Cost cuts alone will not save AUBG. It’s important to turn the effort towards getting more students, become less fundraiser dependent, and not rely on outside help to pay the bills,” said the president. Kulinski praised Admissions for “working their butts off” and thanked them for the “greatest, most attended Open House” to date. He also commended the Business Administration department for their continued success in placing in the top two education destinations in Bulgaria.
President Kulinski commented on the urgent need to fight the “Legacy of cynicism” evident in recent times. He jokingly remarked that many people are waiting for him to skip town like his predecessor. He also shared that many people indirectly criticize him for “always talking about money.” However, Kulinski concluded with a reminder that “someone needs to pay the bills.”