NEW DETAILS: Wright State recommended cuts would heavily impact liberal arts programs

Wright State president Susan Edwards is expected to recommend that up to113 faculty positions be cut in the university’s retrenchment process to offset revenue shortfalls caused by decreases in student enrollment.
Wright State president Susan Edwards is expected to recommend that up to113 faculty positions be cut in the university’s retrenchment process to offset revenue shortfalls caused by decreases in student enrollment.

Recommendations for faculty cuts expected to be made at a Wright State Board of Trustee’s meeting on Friday may heavily impact professors in liberal arts programs.

The Dayton Daily News broke the story Wednesday night that Wright State president Susan Edwards is expected to recommend that up to113 faculty positions be cut in the university’s retrenchment process to offset revenue shortfalls caused by decreases in student enrollment.

In a letter from current Wright State interim Provost Douglas W. Leaman to Edwards, Leaman recommends specific faculty cuts from colleges. .

The recommendations per college he made were:

College of Education and Human Services: 12

College of Engineering and Computer Sciences: 12

College of Liberal Arts: 49

College of Nursing and Health: 0

College of Science and Mathematics: 26

Raj Soin College of Business: 14

ExploreWright State president to recommend up to 113 faculty positions be eliminated

Leaman said in his letter that while overall student enrollment has declined, there have been more enrollment declines in certain colleges while other colleges are expected to grow. The university expects more growth in the College of Nursing and Health and the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, he said.

“Because faculty reductions in those programs would likely impact recruitment and retention, I made allowance for fewer reductions to the faculty in those departments,” he wrote.

AAUP-WSU faculty president Noeleen McIlvenna said she has deep concerns about the cuts.

“I think they don’t like the concept of tenure, the concept that they can’t fire people at will. They’re hoping to get a cheaper workforce. I mean, this is what this will lead to in a couple of years. I understand that in a business, your profit is your marker of success, but in a public institution, educated people are your marker of success. you’re not trying to make a profit. You have to manage the money and you can’t lose any. You don’t ask schools to make a profit. You ask schools to teach our children. But they don’t,” McIlvenna said.

McIlvenna aimed her frustration at the board of trustees.

“I think all these businessmen on the board of trustees have no understanding of that. They think a marker of success is a profit margin, and therefore the cheaper your labor force, the more your profits will be. But that’s not the case (in education). It’s better to have small classes, more teachers, and make a smaller profit, a smaller surplus. The goal is to do the best educating you can for the money you have,” she said.

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