More than 100 faculty jobs still at risk

Dec. 16, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Kathryn Morton, kmorton@apscuf.org or 717-236-7486

No non-tenured faculty members received retrenchment letters Dec. 15, the third of four deadlines for Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities to issue notices to faculty members who may lose their jobs at the end of the 2021 spring semester. Cheyney, Edinboro, Indiana, Lock Haven and Mansfield Universities of Pennsylvania have active possibilities of retrenchment — layoffs through no fault of the employee — but did not issue additional letters by this week’s deadline.

The faculty collective bargaining agreement sets Dec. 15 as the date by which Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education must alert second-year probationary non-tenured faculty members, if they are in danger of being retrenched at the end of the academic year. APSCUF has been working to avoid job losses since the spring, when 10 universities issued notices of the possibility of retrenchment. Five of those universities — Bloomsburg, California, Clarion, Kutztown and Millersville — have since rescinded their warnings.

One additional deadline remains for alerting faculty members that they could be retrenched. The APSCUF contract requires first-year probationary non-tenured faculty members to be sent letters by certified mail or hand delivery on or before March 1. The deadline for tenured faculty was Oct. 30, and five universities issued 113 letters by that date. IUP issued one additional letter by Dec. 1, the deadline for alerting probationary non-tenured faculty members beyond the second year.

“We’re relieved that no additional faculty members will have their winter breaks and holidays spoiled by these gut-wrenching letters,” said Dr. Jamie Martin, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, the union representing State System faculty and coaches. “However, more than 100 of my colleagues still may lose their livelihoods and healthcare during a global pandemic. We’ve been working tirelessly at the state and university levels to help save these colleagues’ jobs — and thus save the opportunities these faculty members create for their students.”

Through APSCUF’s work, universities have rescinded some of the letters issued in October. In total, 101 faculty members at Cheyney, Edinboro, Indiana, Lock Haven and Mansfield possess active retrenchment letters.

“Each letter that stays on the table continues to harm not only faculty but student morale,” Martin said. “When faculty members and programs are eliminated, those cuts can’t do anything but hurt students through lost opportunities and support.”

Students, alumni, faculty and community supporters who want to advocate against retrenchment can learn how to take action by visiting https://www.apscuf.org/students/#Retrenchmentstudents.

APSCUF represents about 5,000 faculty and coaches at the State System universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester Universities of Pennsylvania.