Walker, APSCUF comment on retrenchment article removal

Category:  News
Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 12:44 PM

On August 30, President H. Fred Walker announced he is retracting the possible letter of retrenchment, which was issued to APSCUF on March 30 of this year.

“My work over the past 14 months since my tenure began as president of Edinboro University has been dedicated to advancing this great institution to ensure a high-quality educational experience for our students,” Walker said in an APSCUF news release. “Further, I stated at the time the letter of retrenchment was issued that we would work together to explore all alternatives to retrenchment for the betterment of the university. Today we have achieved a major step forward toward those goals.”

Dr. Marc Sylvester, Edinboro University APSCUF president, said, “I believed at that time (of the issuing of the retrenchment letter) we could work with management and demonstrate there was not a need for faculty layoffs.”

He continued: “Even if there were areas where we needed to offer fewer classes, there were many opportunities for faculty like teaching freshman year experience courses, [or] taking some talented faculty and putting 

them in the academic success center or admissions. There was a good use of faculty resources on campus that could help Edinboro to succeed.”

Sylvester said early in the spring semester, the union conducted an expedited program review process.

“While the possibility of retrenchment was announced on March 30, the whole process started in January,” he said. “Even before that, we had discussed how we were going to do our program review process.”

Sylvester said the university being the subject of possible retrenchment “puts a lot of stress on faculty, as it would any other body of employees.”

He continued: “Yes, it was stressful, but we’ve been down this road many times before. Our goal once the retrenchment letter was issued to us was to work with management and try to find alternatives to retrenchment, to find ways to make sure the university could be successful financially while honoring our commitment to tenure- track faculty.”

Five of the 14 Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools were issued retrenchment letters before the deadline of April 1. Currently, only California University and Edinboro University have retracted their letters. Cheyney University, Clarion University and Mansfield

University have yet to remove their letters.

Sylvester said he is hopeful they will have a similar result (to Edinboro).

In a news release, Walker said, “I thank and commend APSCUF for their shared commitment through our work together over the past months to student success and the importance of continuing to build a positive future for EU.”

“One of the positives that has occurred throughout this whole process is that faculty leadership and management could always be in flux,” Sylvester said. “I think we’ve demonstrated that we can look at a problem and work collaboratively toward a goal. I think it (removing the retrenchment letter) was a mutually positive decision, and I’m looking forward to figuring out what’s next and what our next steps are to work together to make Edinboro even better.”

He concluded: “Faculty come to work excited to work with students, and I’m so excited this letter of retrenchment is off the table. I think it allows us to put our focus and our energies where we most like to put it, and that’s serving our students.”

Dakota Palmer is the news editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com. 

Tags: apscuf

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