Wright State University (WSU) has decided to trim faculty in an effort to offset a budget shortfall. Recommendations for the layoffs are expected to be announced at the school’s Board of Trustees Meeting on Friday.
More than 100 faculty positions are in danger of being cut with liberal arts programs suffering the heaviest losses.
Interim provost Douglas W. Leaman submitted a letter to President Susan Edwards containing specific recommendations regarding cutbacks from each college.
“I have carefully studied the available data so that I could make informed recommendations concerning the number of positions that must be eliminated through retrenchment to bring the size of our faculty in line with the size of our student body,” Leaman wrote.
He suggested that the College of Liberal Arts cut 49 faculty positions followed by 26 from the College of Science and Mathematics. Leaman left the College of Nursing and Health untouched since data has shown that WSU can expect growth in this department.
AAUP-WSU Faculty President Noeleen McIlvenna shared her frustration with the decision, remarking that profit should not be the school’s primary consideration.
“I think they don’t like the concept of tenure, the concept that they can’t fire people at will. They’re hoping to get a cheaper workforce. I mean, this is what this will lead to in a couple of years,” she said.
“They think a marker of success is a profit margin. It’s better to have small classes, more teachers, and make a smaller profit, a smaller surplus. The goal is to do the best educating you can for the money you have,” she added.
University Program Cuts
Other institutions have chosen to eliminate academic programs, departments, and faculty to cope with losses of revenue.
The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees will remove 11 degree programs including bachelor’s degrees in journalism, business administration, and secondary education in French, German, and Spanish.
Also, the University of Evansville has recently drafted a realignment plan that will eliminate three departments and likely leave 40 professors out of work.