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An 18-month hiring freeze is in effect at the University at Buffalo's College of Arts and Sciences because the year-old undergraduate college "overcommitted its budget $2 million to $3 million," UB President William R. Greiner told members of the UB Council Tuesday.

But the president, who called the hiring freeze "a short-term irritation," was quick to shoulder the blame.

"What was three faculties a year ago is the College of Arts and Sciences today," he explained.

"The provost, the senior vice president and I did not have the foresight to realize just how difficult it would be to put them together and develop a whole new management structure at the same time as we were going to a new budget system."

The catalyst for the college's "overextended budget" and subsequent hiring freeze was its recent hiring of "a lot of great new faculty," Greiner said.

The hiring was part of the long-term plan for the college, he emphasized.

"The problem is not the hiring -- the problem is that we cannot overspend state money."

Robert J. Wagner, UB's senior vice president, said the College of Arts and Sciences operates on a base budget of about $46 million of the university's approximately $230 million allocation from the state.

The college is a blend of the former faculties of arts and letters, social sciences, and natural sciences and mathematics.

It is the largest unit at UB, serving more than 11,000 undergraduates. It has about 600 faculty members.

Peter A. Nickerson, a professor of pathology and the director of UB's graduate pathology program, is chairman of the Faculty Senate.

"The faculty have expectations that it will be able to continue development," he said. "The hiring freeze is a setback to that momentum."

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