Paul L. Caron

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Faculty Cuts Begin, With Warnings Of More To Come

Chronicle of Higher Education, Faculty Cuts Begin, With Warnings of More to Come:

When the Covid-19 pandemic threatened to deplete projected budgets, college leaders ... looked to minimize expenses and make difficult choices about priorities. While decisions were still up in the air, faculty members, especially those off the tenure track, feared that their ranks would be thinned. Now, those cuts are starting to be made across academe. (The Chronicle is tracking them here.)


Thirty-one faculty members were laid off at Missouri Western State University, while 20 others will receive terminal one-year contracts, Inside Higher Ed reported. St. Edward’s University, in Texas, eliminated an unknown number of employee positions, including some faculty members on and off the tenure track, the Austin American-Statesman reported. City University of New York colleges have begun announcing plans to remove hundreds of adjunct positions, according to the CUNY faculty and staff union; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood in solidarity with the union, saying in a statement that “austerity is not the answer.” And rumors have swirled at Ohio University that instructor positions will be eliminated, speculation that was confirmed in a Friday-evening message to the campus from the president. ...

Faculty leaders on various campuses are scrutinizing those decisions. They say they appreciate the need to be frugal but don’t understand why contingent faculty members, who are often the lowest paid and do the bulk of the teaching, are on the chopping block. ...

The Chronicle has identified 162 institutions associated with a layoff, a furlough, or a contract nonrenewal resulting from Covid-19. At least 44,368 employees in academe are known to have been affected by those actions.

For complete TaxProf Blog coverage of the coronavirus, see here.

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Paul B, many colleges have announced temporary voluntary paycuts, such as reduced retirement contributions or reductions in pay for highly compensated employees. The cuts in comp are often progressive (i.e., higher paid employees taking a bigger percentage cut). At some places, that will be enough to prevent layoffs, but not everywhere.

Posted by: Pay cuts vs. layoffs | May 26, 2020 7:46:18 PM

Each school might have one or two closet conservatives needing to be released in commie utopia.

Posted by: moron | May 26, 2020 5:09:46 AM

I’m skeptical. How do people know they have to make cuts when they haven’t even decided, in many cases, when they are reopening? This sounds a lot like a prearranged plan with COVID as an excuse.

Posted by: Mike Livingston | May 25, 2020 3:02:44 AM

Happy tears upon my face.

Posted by: Anon | May 24, 2020 3:32:18 PM

Those who want to minimize layoffs at universities, at a time when the ability for those who lose their jobs to find a new one will be very difficult, should stand up and ask for across the board pay cuts. Better that we all take a hit until the economy returns to normal than have the majority have no consequences, while 10, 20 or more percent of employees are out on the street. Faculty love to throw out the term "shared governance", but it's been my experience that very few want to do the heavy lifting when times are tough.

Posted by: PaulB | May 24, 2020 2:42:30 PM

OMG! At this rate, the only employees left in institutes of higher education will be the Presidents and the diversity shills!

Posted by: Kneave Riggall | May 24, 2020 2:30:10 PM