TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Catholic University Moves Forward With Plan To Lay Off Tenured Faculty, Increase Teaching Loads

CatholicFollowing up on my previous posts (links below):  Chronicle of Higher Education, Catholic U. Plan, Which Could Result in Layoffs of Tenured Profs, Moves Ahead:

A controversial cost-cutting plan that would allow Catholic University of America to lay off tenured professors has cleared a major hurdle.

The university’s Academic Senate, which includes faculty members and administrators, voted 35 to 8 last week to send the so-called academic-renewal proposal to the Board of Trustees for a final vote. The plan, designed to close a $3.5-million budget gap and stem enrollment declines, has generated fierce debate on the campus, in Washington, D.C., about the strategic direction of the university, the marketability of its Catholic identity, and the fragility of tenure in the face of financial challenges.

Andrew V. Abela, the university’s provost, has said he hopes to cut 35 full-time professors, or about 9 percent of the faculty, through voluntary retirements and buyouts. He has argued, however, that the plan’s approval would authorize the university to eliminate full-time, tenured professors, if need be.

A final version of the proposal, which was made public this week, removed a previous reference to the possible “elimination of tenured positions.” But that change appears more cosmetic than substantive, as the amended plan retains language about the general authority of the university to terminate full-time professors, presumably tenured or otherwise, in a manner that the university’s Faculty Handbook had not envisioned.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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