Two faculty receive layoff notices

Enrollment deficits in campus programs have led to layoffs.

Two SIUC non-tenure track faculty members received notification Friday that they will be laid off, said Kitty Martin, Non-Tenure Track Faculty Association spokesperson.

Martin said the notification letter indicates the layoffs were made as a result of a revenue decline that came from enrollment declines. She said the NTTFA did not know names of the faculty who received the notifications, but the letter states their last day of work will be Jan. 13.

“We’re still hoping that solutions can be found, that they’ll be able to come back for us,” Martin said. “Everyone is trying to stay positive about things.”

The two faculty were teaching a combined five courses, Chancellor Rita Cheng said in an email Friday.

“Since enrollments are down in their programs, there was no teaching assignment and no impact on the students,” she said.

Cheng said the university has hired two new non-tenure track faculty for three spring courses in different programs with growing or flat enrollments.

There are also a few searches open for spring teaching assignments, Cheng said.

“This is a complicated issue since our faculty are specialized in specific fields, and we routinely have scheduling changes that dictate our appointments,” she said. “So, while we are reducing instructional faculty in some areas, we are hiring in other areas.”

Cheng said this has always been done at the university, but the administration must now comply with the NTTFA bargaining agreement that states the faculty must be given advanced notice.

“Students should not worry,” she said. “Courses will be held where there is strong demand.”

Martin said aspects of the NTTFA contract state that faculty who are laid off must be the first to be “called back” when a position opens up. She said there is a possibility that at least one of the faculty who received the notice will be able to participate in “pushover recall,” which gives them the opportunity to work part or half-time.

In July, university administrators notified 77 non-tenure track faculty members that their positions were subject to layoff. Faculty have said another layoff notification has been rumored for December.

But Cheng said there are no further non-tenure track layoffs.

Martin said the NTTFA will keep in touch with the faculty who received the notices in order to stay updated on the possibility for a recall.

“In the meantime, I think it’s just an anxious stage for a lot of folks across the board,” she said.

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