Ithaca College announces big potential cuts to faculty as the school prepares to downsize


Ithaca College announces big potential cuts to faculty as the school prepares to downsize

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(WBNG) — The school has shared the recommendations of their Academic Program Prioritization Implementation Committee (APPIC), and for many professors, they are being told they may not have jobs after their contracts expire.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, people are being fired, they need to put food on the table for their families, for themselves,” said Sara Stohl, a sophomore at Ithaca College.

The “Shape of the College” report recommends cuts to more than 100 full-time employees. However, the actual number of layoffs could be much higher.

“There are adjunct professors and contingent faculty members. The administration can fire multiple of them to make up for one full-time faculty member,” said Julia Machlin, a junior at Ithaca College.

Politics Professor Juan Arroyo is one of the many faculty members that has been told he may not have a job in the next year. He says his immediate reaction is one of sadness, especially for colleagues in more complicated situations than himself.

“A lot of people’s lives are going to be affected, and mostly because it’s not clear that everything possible has been done to not affect so many people in such a drastic way,” said Arroyo.

Professor Arroyo has spent 20 years with the school and he believes more conversations with his colleagues could lead to more solutions.

“Maybe there are people in our economics department, our business department, our accounting department, so that maybe the college, without leaving it all at the administration level, can reach out to the experts and specialists we have,” said Arroyo.

Open the Books is a movement on campus calling for transparency on major decisions such as this one. Students and faculty especially want to know what happens financially on the administration level.

“We’ve gotten a lot of half-truths and not answers from the administration,” said Stohl.

While specific salaries within the administration are unclear, Ithaca College is required to make one tax form publicly available. The school’s latest available Form 990 is from 2018. It shows more than four million dollars spent on compensation of current officers, directors, trustees, and key employees. Without the full picture, both students and faculty are calling on the administration to slow down with these decisions.

“There was consultation, and the question is, was this consultation slow enough, broad enough, complete enough to match the significant change that is about to happen for a lot of people,” said Arroyo.

12 News reached out to Ithaca College for comment. Below you can find the full statement from Ithaca College President Shirley Collado:

First, I want to share my gratitude for the diligent, thoughtful work of the APPIC, led by Vice President Laurie Koehler and Associate Provost Brad Hougham.

This committee’s deep commitment to an inclusive and holistic process resulted in a slate of draft recommendations that centers our students, demonstrates a heartfelt compassion for our faculty and staff, affirms our institutional commitment to the liberal arts and professional education, and honors and supports the important role that tenure plays in maintaining faculty excellence.

The next step in this process is to hear from our faculty and campus community, and I look forward to these honest, constructive, and critical conversations about the committee’s recommendations.” 

While none of these decisions are final, the administration says they will continue to accept feedback and a decision will come later in the spring semester.

For more information about the APPIC, including frequently asked questions, head over to Ithaca College’s website.

The post Ithaca College announces big potential cuts to faculty as the school prepares to downsize appeared first on WBNG.

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Ithaca College announces big potential cuts to faculty as the school prepares to downsize

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