Any school that falls below a 1.75 two years in a row is put on notice. Wright State projected its score last year was a .8, meaning one more year below a 1.75 would put the school on fiscal watch. WSU chief business officer Walt Branson in October projected the university will get a score of 2.2 and avoid state watch.
But, the furlough threshold in Wright State’s new policy is higher than the state’s level for fiscal watch.
The administration can impose faculty furloughs if Wright State’s Senate Bill 6 score falls below 2.4 two years in a row. If Branson’s prediction comes true, that means Wright State can impose furloughs as soon as the state verifies its score this year.
» RELATED: WSU faculty union: Students should call oversight agency with strike concerns
“We hope we never have to use cost savings days for any of our employees,” said president Cheryl Schrader.
If furloughs are ever invoked, Schrader said the administration would try to pick days where students are not on campus, such as the day before Thanksgiving. The new terms and conditions of employment also state that the board of trustees advises the administration use only a maximum of two furlough days per semester.
But, union president Martin Kich has said that furloughs would essentially amount to faculty being paid less for doing the same amount of work. Though the board has suggested a max of two furlough days per semester, Kich said that its at the administration’s discretion and fears it faculty could be furloughed for far longer.
Furloughs are one of the issues the union has taken issue with in the administration’s imposed terms of employment. Members of the Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors filed a notice Monday with the State Employment Relations Board to strike at 8 a.m. Jan. 22.
“Are you going to give us a day off from teaching? We’re expected to do our work as usual and simply not get paid for it,” Kich said.
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