WSU president: ‘These are the worst days of my career’

Wright State University will cut 50 positions, a new campus email from the president said Monday.

And the university is preparing for what leaders evidently expect will be reduced enrollment going forward, according to the email.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce, beginning today, we will commence notification of involuntary position eliminations,” WSU President Sue Edwards said in the email. “This will impact approximately 50 occupied positions on our campuses. Some will not have contracts renewed, some are retiring, while others will be provided notice and/or other applicable options.”

The university’s human resources office has prepared “separation materials” and will accompany university supervisors while they hold notification meetings with affected employees, Edwards also said in the message.

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“Regrettably, due to the current limitations of COVID-19 safety precautions, these meetings will be held via WebEx,” Edward’s email also states. “However, employees will be provided materials in both an electronic format as well as mailed paper copies of the materials to their homes.”

A message seeking comment was sent to Wright State representatives Monday.

Edwards said campus leaders “must resize the university so we can operate within the revenue generated by an enrollment of 10,000 students and ultimately ensure that we continue to serve the needs of our region.”

She added that 35 faculty members elected to participate in a retirement “incentive program” and will separate from Wright State in coming weeks.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the 35 early retirements were counted as part of the 50 planned position cuts. That question was sent to a university spokesman.

Union leadership representing Wright State faculty told the Dayton Daily News earlier this month that faculty members believe university administrators seek to “fire” senior, tenured faculty — and the president of the union said the university has hired an external labor attorney to assist Wright State in contract talks.

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