Provost Fred Kniss and Vice President for Finance Daryl Bert met with the SGA on Wednesday, Dec. 6 to discuss the reduction of faculty members by 10 to 12 percent for the 2018-2019 school year. “We thought it would be good to talk to … student leaders to give you the information straight,” Kniss said.
EMU currently has below a 10:1 faculty to student ratio — a statistic the university has heavily used as a marketing tool. But according to Kniss, it is not financially sustainable. “We have, frankly, too many faculty and staff for the number of students that are in the university,” Kniss told the SGA Senate. The budget crunch is in large part due to a sharp decline in undergraduate enrollment the last two years.
The criteria that administrators are working with to determine what faculty members will be let go was developed with the help of the Faculty Senate, a group of six faculty members elected by their peers to represent them in administrative matters. The criteria is based around course enrollment, student feedback, and several other variables. A group of five administrators including Kniss and Bert will make decisions based on the criteria later this month.
The Faculty Senate, while voicing their disappointment at these developments, deemed these cuts necessary to sustain the university financially.
Additionally, Kniss disclosed that student tuition fees would raise only 3.1 percent next year, rather than the 3.6 percent increase from the 2016-2017 school year.
The Weather Vane will publish a list of the faculty members affected by these cuts on its website as soon as information becomes available.