Tough times at my alma mater
I got my B.A. and M.A. from Western Illinois University, taught English, and then started my career in continuing higher education there. I was an advisor in an external degree program before online education. Of course, it's been quite a while since I worked there, and things have certainly changed--WIU didn't have its own governing board for one thing, and no faculty union for another. It's sad to see things so bad. From The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Western Illinois has for years struggled with declining enrollment and reduced state support, a predicament compounded by the fact that Illinois has yet to pass a budget for the fiscal year that started last July. That’s left public colleges without state money for the past seven months.
The institution had already combined some departments and curbed other spending, said Kathleen Neumann, interim provost and academic vice president, leaving no choice but to look at layoffs. Campus officials said they had turned to enrollment numbers to determine which departments should be scaled back and which faculty positions should be cut.
That had been the plan, at least. This week, Western Illinois’s president, Jack Thomas, changed course, announcing that while faculty cuts were still needed, tenured professors would be spared.
But for how long? Ms. Czechowski asked. And why did she end up on a layoff list at all? She and other tenured faculty members say they weren’t given much of an explanation. Moreover, 30 of their colleagues — including 10 assistant professors — remain on the verge of losing their jobs.