Last month, Clarion University announced that they were cutting 22 faculty due to a budget deficit that could be $12 million dollars in two years.
Clarion released its two-year workforce plan in early August that called for eliminating approximately 42 jobs that had been filled and 14 openings that are still sitting vacant
Among those to be let go are 22 faculty, which is said to be the most at any one time at any of the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education universities since 1979, according to Penn Live writer Jan Murphy.
Earlier this week, President Cheryl Norton issued a letter to the campus community regarding Slippery Rock University’s deficit, saying “With nearly 80 percent of the University’s budget directed to salary and benefits costs, reductions will inevitably include some personnel.”
Norton also issued a letter to the faculty, known as a letter of retrenchment, stating that faculty cuts could be made next year.
Other unions were notified of the financial circumstances as well. According to Norton’s letter, reductions are expected and efforts are being made to generate more revenue.
Five other universities, besides Slippery Rock and Clarion, have sent letters out to faculty saying that layoffs could be on the horizon as early as next year.
They include California, Cheyney, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, and Kutztown.
With so many universities suffering from budget deficits, the effect on students could be grim.
If faculty is cut, it could seriously limit the educational potential of students.
In fact, Clarion is starting to phase out its Music Education program, and won’t be accepting any new majors starting Fall 2015.
That could seriously mess up somebody’s future plans.
With statewide budget cuts in education becoming more serious every year, tuition costs for students has been on the rise for quite some time.
If it continues at this rate, taking into consideration that PASSHE universities are looking at larger and larger deficits, how will that effect tuition for students?
Will it even be worth paying tuition at a state school, when the gap between costs of private schools tuition is getting smaller and smaller?
It’s hard to say what the future holds for students in light of potential faculty cuts and tuition hikes.
If one thing for sure, it is that change is inevitable for students in the upcoming year.