The University of Tennessee athletics department revealed on Monday that it will eliminate 17 full-time positions as part of its consolidation of the men's and women's athletics departments.
The 17 employees have been notified that their positions will be eliminated June 1, according to a release issued by Jimmy Stanton, associate athletic director for communications/football.
Other athletics department employees resigned, retired or were let go as part of the transition, though Tennessee's release did not disclose the number — or names — of those who have lost or will lose their jobs.
Dave Hart, UT vice chancellor/director of athletics, led this "initial phase of reorganization,'' Stanton said in the release. Hart was not available for interviews Monday and declined to comment on the elimination of personnel.
The restructuring plan has been reviewed by UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek, the Office of the General Counsel and the UT Human Resources department, the release said.
According to the release, the restructuring will lead to a total savings of nearly $2.5 million in the 2012-13 budget in terms of personnel costs. The 17 layoffs will represent a savings of $1.03 million, and another $850,000 will be saved by the combination of unfilled positions being eliminated, resignations, retirements and terminations.
The release said another $625,000 will be saved by reducing the number of student employees, which includes managers, assistants and interns.
John Painter, a 1988 UT graduate who has become a well-known public relations specialist for the Vols the past 11 years, confirmed he is one of the employees who will be laid off.
"I've certainly enjoyed my 11-plus years here,'' said Painter, who once served as UT's primary media relations contact for football before spending last fall as the chief features writer for UTsports.com.
Painter's salary was $75,591, according to data UT released to the News Sentinel earlier this month.
Brian Davis, a 1997 UT graduate who spent the past eight years as an assistant media relations director working with softball, women's basketball and soccer, said he submitted his resignation March 12 that will take effect two weeks after the conclusion of the Lady Vols' softball season. Davis said he did not feel it was appropriate for him to comment on the reorganization.
Joan Cronan, who served as UT's women's athletic director for 28 years and assumed interim athletic director duties June 9 after Mike Hamilton resigned, could not be reached for comment.
Desiree Reed-Francois, previously listed as a senior associate athletic director, is not among the current administrators listed on the incomplete roster released by UT on Monday. Reed-Francois, who was making $111,211 according to UT records, declined to comment and referred questions on her employment status to Stanton.
Brad Bertani, who had served as associate athletic director for compliance since 2004, recently accepted a position as assistant athletic director for compliance at Ohio State University and began working there March 29.