On April 14, all 28 tenure-track faculty members received notification that their appointments would not be renewed. According to Susan Conner, provost, this action should not be interpreted as a change from the original BOT mandate to eliminate 15 full-time equivalent positions.
The faculty handbook states that notification is required to tenure-track faculty with “two or more years of continuous service” by April 15 if their appointments will not be renewed. According to Conner, the notification was pro forma.
“Because the program review process will not be completed by April 15, 28 faculty had to be notified that their appointments would not be renewed,” Conner said. “Once the program review process has been completed, faculty will be notified of the Trustee’s decision, and appointments will be made according to the outcome of that decision.”
According to President Donna Randall, employment status will be confirmed as soon as possible following the May 13 BOT meeting, but no later than June 1.
“As you are aware, Albion College is going through some difficult discussions regarding faculty positions,” Randall said in the notification letter sent to tenure-track faculty members. “The college will know after the May Board of Trustees’ meeting whether you (tenure-track faculty member) will be offered (solely) a terminal year or other appointment for 2010-2011.”
A terminal year is the last year that a faculty member is employed by the College — in this case, the 2010-2011 year.
Dates for notification of non-renewal of tenure-track faculty vary based on years of service. Dec. 15 is the deadline of non-renewal notice for tenure-track faculty members who have taught for fewer than two years and does not include an offer of a terminal year of employment.
According to Conner, several faculty members who received notice on April 14 had served less than two years; however, these individuals were offered the additional year of employment.
Four faculty members successfully completed the tenure process last fall. While these faculty members will not officially be granted tenure until fall 2010, they did not receive non-renewal notification.
As mandated by BOT members, the 15 personnel reductions will occur through voluntary early retirements, the elimination of some full and part-time faculty members and through natural attrition. On April 20, the total number of voluntary early retirements is scheduled to be determined.
Reports issued by the Curriculum and Resources Committee (C&RC) for suggested staff eliminations through program review are due on April 29. According to Conner, C&RC is currently reviewing adjunct and visiting professor positions. Part-time and full-time faculty has not yet been considered.
Documents for the C&RC review of each program and department include course enrollments, numbers of majors and graduates, faculty information, syllabi and generated expenses compared with totals of similar programs in peer institutions.
According to Conner, the last program review was conducted over ten years ago.