“authorized the elimination of 97 full-time professors out of about 570 total in response to a projected enrollment decline and ongoing budget woes”
More of this is coming to many other schools in the near future.
Inside Higher Ed reports:
Budget ‘Bloodbath’ at University of Akron
The University of Akron’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday unanimously authorized the elimination of 97 full-time professors out of about 570 total in response to a projected enrollment decline and ongoing budget woes. Some 21 full-timers also recently resigned or retired.
The cuts will take effect starting in two weeks. The university is in the process of notifying affected professors, but their identities are not yet public. No programs cuts were made, per se — Akron already cut about 80 programs in 2018 as part of a major academic restructuring — yet some professors wonder how and if their departments will function with so many of their colleagues missing.
Pam Schulze, professor of child and family development at Akron and campus faculty union president, called Wednesday’s board meeting “depressing,” more for the university and its students than for the faculty.
“From what I’ve seen, some of these programs will be so badly hurt, I don’t know if they can continue,” she said. “I don’t view this as a union issue, I view this as a university issue.”
Cuts were made by department chairs and deans — many of them interim and acting, due to the recent reorganization — at the university’s request that they trim their programs by up to 25 percent. The union says names were selected regardless of rank or tenure status.
Throughout Wednesday’s board meeting, Akron president Gary L. Miller and trustees said they needed to pave a “sustainable” way forward, as enrollments continue to decline across Ohio for demographic reasons, and as COVID-19 rattles higher education. They expressed confidence that Akron will emerge from the pandemic stronger than before, as a result of shared “sacrifice.”
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