Several months ago, California University of Pennsylvania informed the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties that faculty layoffs were possible at the start of the 2017-18 academic year. Even after several meetings during which APSCUF requested information and sought alternatives, the leaders at California University plan to move forward with layoffs. APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash is issuing the following statement:
“Nobody can deny that Cal U has suffered enrollment declines and fiscal problems over the last few years. Nevertheless, the leadership at Cal U ought to be focused on uniting the campus community to focus on increasing enrollment, improving retention, and otherwise devising a plan to attract students. The administration’s inclination to lay off faculty will not help at all; it will only demoralize the campus, drive away students, and harm the university for years to come.
“Several State System universities have examined faculty layoffs as a means to cut costs, and a few have gone down that path. It is stunning that administrators continue to drive down this dangerous path despite all of the warning signs.
“Cal U’s president and leadership team would benefit by learning from the cautionary tales of recent years. While each university is different and faces different challenges, faculty layoffs never solve a fiscal problem; they only make it worse. What student wants to attend a university when that university won’t commit to its professors and its programs? We sincerely hope that Cal U will pursue a more rational path to fiscal solvency.”