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Henderson State University Laying Off Faculty and Cutting Degree Programs

Henderson State University Laying Off Faculty and Cutting Degree Programs

“Henderson’s financial challenges span multiple years”

The school has apparently been struggling with enrollment for years. There is more of this to come.

The College Fix reports:

Arkansas university eliminates 25 degrees, fires 67 professors due to financial crisis

Henderson State University in Arkansas will have at least 67 fewer professors heading into the 2022-23 school year after a round of layoffs.

That number includes 44 tenured professors fired as the public university grapples with financial distress after years of enrollment losses.

HSU also eliminated 25 degree programs moving forward as a result of a Board of Trustees vote in May, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Henderson’s financial challenges span multiple years,” Tina Hall, Henderson State’s vice chancellor of advancement, stated in an email to The College Fix on July 13.

The problem was “driven by years of enrollment losses,” Forbes reported in February. “Last fall, it enrolled 2,919 students, a 7.7% decrease from the previous year.” In the last five years, nearly half have left without graduating, the magazine added.

“Henderson does not have sufficient financial reserves due to years of deficit spending and has been unable to recover financially despite a $6 million advance from the State of Arkansas in July 2019,” a Frequently Asked Questions page posted by the university stated.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of Education Johnny Key expressed support for the university’s “academic reorganization” in a July 7 news release.

“Henderson leadership has worked hard to right the ship,” Hutchinson stated. “Tough decisions have been made that were not easy and were painful, but necessary for the survival of Henderson. We all want to see Henderson succeed.”

The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees certified Henderson’s self-evaluation of “financial exigency” on March 28 and released a statement to the campus community. The American Association of University Professors defines “financial exigency” as “an imminent financial crisis which threatens the survival of the institution as a whole.”

“Our financial situation requires that we make significant changes to establish a financial flooring that will sustain Henderson’s educational mission for future generations,” the university stated.

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Comments

henrybowman | July 17, 2022 at 1:04 am

Unfortunately, the actual list specifies only the surviving degrees, and not what got cut. But I do notice that their only STEM metamajor suffered the second-most-severe staff reduction out of their four metamajors (the biggest victim being Arts & Humanities).

How many administrators were fired?