Below is the text of a press release issued on Friday, August 16, 2013.
Yesterday Clarion University, one of the 14 state-owned universities, released a workforce development plan that includes 22 faculty layoffs in eight academic departments. It is the largest number of faculty layoffs proposed in the State System’s 30-year history.
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) represents the 240 regular faculty and approximately 116 temporary faculty at Clarion University.
“The administration’s proposal is outrageous. It does nothing but cheapen the quality of education our students expect and deserve,” stated Dr. Beth MacDaniel, president of APSCUF’s Clarion chapter. “We are extremely disappointed and disheartened by the president’s disregard for our students and their education.”
APSCUF has been meeting with administrators at both the campus and state levels to discuss ways to help the university meet its financial obligations while maintaining educational quality.
“We have been working with management to develop a strong plan that is cognizant of the university’s financial concerns while preserving faculty positions and student instructional resources,” MacDaniel noted. “The plan they publicized yesterday, under the guise of ensuring student success, strikes at the very heart of the university – academic programs and the professors who educate our students.”
Clarion has indicated that the workforce development plan was intended to align the strategic vision of the university while dealing with an 18 percent decline in state appropriations over the past three years and a structural deficit.
“It is disingenuous for Clarion’s administration to claim that the structural deficit is because ‘the cost of employee wages have continued to increase.’ The university already spends less on instructional expenses, including faculty salaries, than it did a decade ago. The deficit is a result of management’s misplaced spending priorities, coupled with a $90 million loss in state support since 2010.” MacDaniel said.
APSCUF continues to fight the proposed faculty layoffs and find workable solutions to the State System’s financial needs.
The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties represents more than 6,000 faculty members and coaches at Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities.