In a press release issued on Feb. 23, Albion College announced that the Board of Trustees voted to eliminate the equivalent of 15 full-time faculty positions, nearly 10 percent of the total faculty. Faculty cuts, including tenured and tenure-track professors ,will be made through a voluntary early retirement program and the elimination of both full-and part-time positions based on an institution-wide program review.
“We will not know the outcome, including the details on what positions will be affected, until that review is completed,” said Sarah Briggs, associate vice president for communications. “Faculty have been asked to take part in the program review, and this week it will be determined how the review process will work.”
Albion College currently has 124 full-time and 38 part-time professors, totaling 162.
Faculty members whose appointments will not be renewed will be provided with compensation for an additional year after their 2009-10 appointment ends, according to Briggs.
In order to qualify for social security benefits, individuals who retire must be at least 62 years of age.
Albion currently has 37 individuals, including faculty members and librarians, who are over the age of 60, based on online public databases. The biology and economics & management departments each have three professors over the age of 60, while the physical education department has five.
“This decision by the Board of Trustees was extremely difficult, and it came only after long and careful deliberation,” said Albion College President Donna Randall in the press release. “We appreciate the impact these cuts will have on faculty members and their families, and we will work closely with the individuals affected to smooth their transition.”
The Board of Trustees mandated the cuts, based on budget projections for the next five years.
“Albion College is fundamentally strong,” Randall said. “Our endowment currently stands at $150 million, and income from that fund remains an important source of support for our programs. While reducing our expenses over the past 18 months, we have sought to increase revenues through stepped-up efforts in recruiting students and fundraising.”
Stay tuned this week for news updates from The Pleiad staff.
Behind the BS: A Closer Look at DR’s Memorandum
Not Just a Number: Student opinion on proposed faculty cuts
Reader comments are encouraged below.
Please remove the poll about position cuts. It essentially poses the question, “Which department is least valuable?” It belittles the hard work people have put into their academic pursuits, whether it is perceived to be useless or not. If students’ intentions are to prevent cuts, we shouldn’t be only defending our own departments, but every department. If one department is dissolved, which is next? I believe the poll puts certain departments into the spotlight and it isn’t fair; it is shameful. Solidarity and unified action are the only way to prevent these cuts from taking place, not pitting student against student, department against department, or faculty against faculty. Please respect the academic integrity of every department of Albion College and remove it.
I believe the poll is rather posing the question, “Which department do you think the administration considers least valuable?” In this light, the numbers elicit concern for these departments, not disdain. The proposed cuts threaten the academic integrity of each individual department as well as the college as a whole – no matter how you slice the pie.