Earlier today, faculty members at Clarion University were told that retrenchment is on the table. That means that administrators are planning on gutting more faculty and programs from a university that a brutal round of retrenchment in 2013. That round of retrenchment called for a 10% cut in faculty members, the elimination of Clarion’s music program, and the elimination of Academic Enrichment – the department that runs academic support for students who may need tutoring or mentoring.
Ray Feroz, the president of the Clarion chapter of the faculty union, APSCUF, relayed the news to faculty in an email this morning:
This morning APSCUF was formally advised by the administration that there is a retrenchment letter on the table (See CBA Article 29). The letter means that there is the possibility of retrenchment. This does not mean that faculty will be retrenched, but that it could happen. Several other SSHE universities have also received such notice. Be assured that your faculty union will work tirelessly to ensure that such faculty retrenchment does not happen to any of our colleagues. Sorry to be the bearer of difficult news. You will be kept advised of all future developments.
In solidarity, Ray
Mansfield University was notified about the possibility of retrenchment last week and Feroz’s email to Clarion faculty indicates that “several other SSHE universities have also received such notice.” We will confirm which other universities received letters as soon as we know.
When Clarion received retrenchment letters in 2013, faculty and students did not take the news lying down. They launched the Faces of Retrenchment Facebook page, which put a human face to the bureaucratic term “retrenchment” by posting pictures and histories of the faculty members targeted by the administration. Likewise, students mobilized and took to the street, demanding the university stop the cuts.
We’ll have more on this story in the days ahead.