In a message to the campus community, President Geraldine Jones shared "good news" about an agreement that moves Cal U closer to financial sustainability while avoiding faculty retrenchment. Her message:
I have good news to share with you today: Cal U has found a path toward financial sustainability that does NOT require a reduction in permanent faculty.
Instead, the University will place some tenured and tenure-track faculty members in an additional department within the APSCUF bargaining unit, so that all permanent faculty can continue with full-time employment at Cal U.
This alternative to retrenchment preserves full-time faculty positions and achieves an estimated savings of at least $4 million in personnel costs. The solution was hammered out after many hours of careful analysis, followed by detailed discussions with state and local APSCUF, University leadership, and Cal U faculty.
All affected faculty members have been contacted individually and have agreed to new assignments in areas where they are qualified to teach. They will retain their current rank, step, tenure status and seniority.
- Twenty-four (24) tenured or tenure-track faculty will fulfill up to 50% of their teaching duties in an academic department other than their “home” department or accept transfer to a new department.
- Also helping to eliminate the need for retrenchment were three recent faculty retirements and collaborations to share faculty and students with other State System universities.
Paring down personnel costs – which represent more than 70% of the University’s budget – is a critical component of our University’s plan to become financially sustainable. Assigning some permanent faculty to new positions gives us the flexibility to schedule classes more efficiently and reduces the need to hire temporary faculty.
For our students, this means that more courses will be taught by permanent tenured and tenure-track faculty members. Again, all faculty are qualified to teach in the areas where they have been assigned.
This good outcome is the result of painstaking work over many weeks. I commend our interim provost and deans for finding a solution that improves our financial standing while retaining permanent faculty. And I appreciate the collaborative spirit and flexibility shown by our professors and the faculty union.
This solution positions Cal U for future success, and it demonstrates what we can achieve when University leaders, our faculty and our faculty union are willing to work together.