UNC may lay off six at Research Campus
By Emily Ford
KANNAPOLIS ó As many as six people working for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at the N.C. Research Campus could lose their jobs due to a $1.1 million budget cut.
The jobs in jeopardy at the UNC Nutrition Research Institute are administrative positions, not scientists. But losing support staff will affect research, deputy director Jana Harrison said.
“Our response times are going to be slower,” Harrison said. “We will do everything we can to keep research as our no. 1 priority.”
The institute has 26 full-time employees, including support positions such as a community outreach director, an accountant and a grants manager.
With an annual budget of $7.9 million, a $1.1 million cut will require “fairly draconian measures,” Harrison said.
“When you eliminate any one of those positions, it really is a hardship,” she said. “Next year is going to be difficult, but our overall goal and mission haven’t changed. My expectation is that we will be able to survive this.”
Overall, the N.C. General Assembly actually increased funding to the Research Campus this year by $3 million, up to $22.5 million.
But UNC cut the Nutrition Research Institute’s budget by $1.1 million in response to a large decrease in state funding for university institutes and research centers.
The potential for layoffs at the Nutrition Research Institute took many by surprise.
“In my mind, we had increased funding to Kannapolis and when I saw the final budget, I verified that,” N.C. Rep. Fred Steen said. “This surprised me.”
Read more in Tuesday’s Post.