University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences officials announced Monday that they will eliminate approximately 600 positions statewide, 258 of which were filled, to meet budget requirements, said the vice chancellor for the UAMS office of communications and marketing.

The majority of those 258 affected by layoffs received notice Monday and will leave their positions within 30-60 days, depending on individual contracts, said Leslie Taylor, vice chancellor for the UAMS office of communications and marketing.

“We tried for the most part to eliminate unfilled, vacant positions,” Taylor said.

The layoffs resulted from a need to address the center’s deficit and cut at least $30 million in expenses by the end of the fiscal year, which ends June 30, Taylor said. The UA System had approved a $39 million deficit, but more recent projections showed that unless cuts were made, the deficit could reach as high as $72 million. These layoffs are expected to cut $26-30 million in expenses.

UAMS, the state’s only academic health sciences center, employs 10,980 people across the state, Taylor said.

Officials eliminated two vacant and four filled positions at the Northwest Regional Campus in Fayetteville, Taylor said. Employees received notice last August that their positions, which involved working on a project for the center’s electronic health records system, would end in April. One employee will lose his full-time position but continue to work part time for UAMS.

Andrea Johnson-Smith was the project news editor from 2017-2018. She was a copy editor for the Arkansas Traveler and editor of the Hill Magazine from 2018-2019. Andrea was also a reporter and photographer for the Arkansas Traveler.

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