Editor’s Note: Jean Jones, President of the Edinboro chapter of APSCUF, spoke to Edinboro University TV on October 8, 2013 about the university administration’s plan to cut over 40 faculty members.
From the interview:
I think the public emails from the president all over the campus have been unusual. The release of the plan to everybody on campus was just unusual and cruel. If you imagine that you’re a faculty member and you’re home one night, you’ve had dinner with your family and your kids and you say, “I’m just going to check email.” And you turn on your email and you find out you’re losing your job. Not only do you realize that that’s how you get told, but everyone else on campus has been informed of that fact at that same moment, that’s just very unusual. I think there’s been a lot of difficulties with the way the process has been managed in public…
…Right now East Stroudsburg, us, Clarion, Mansfield, and Slippery Rock have retrenchment on the table. Of those five, Slippery Rock has no plan offered yet. So, we’ve got four out of the fourteen (PASSHE universities) that are moving forward with stated plans to do cuts in faculty. That means, as of today, nine universities are not retrenching and they have the same problems with Governor Corbett that we do. But, they have managed their institutions in such a way, managed enrollment in such a way, that they have found alternatives and they are not retrenching. So, we can’t just say we’re all in the same boat, we’re not. There’s a real issue here with planning and management.
That being said, it’s very important to have the solidarity of the other campuses and to have the support of the other campuses. For those of us who are in the middle of this – this is the most difficult experience of my professional life. And it ranks right up there with the top three of the most difficult experiences in my personal life. The idea that 42 of my colleagues might get fired and that I’m the union president and I can’t persuade – management has the right to do it – but I can’t find the words and the ways to get them to stop, has caused me to lose a lot of sleep and weight and the stress on me is incredible. But that doesn’t compare to the person whose job is on the line. So, it’s really important that we have the support of our sister campuses.