Piece by Pronoy Rai, Assistant Professor of International and Global Studies at PSU
Source: The Athens Messenger and Ohio University-AAUP
Ohio University, based in Athens in Southeast Ohio, one of the ten oldest American public universities, will not renew contracts of three full-time untenured (instructors and tenure-track) faculty and 140 unionized employees associated with AFSCME Local 1699 due to an ongoing budget crisis. These changes threaten the virtual shutdown of departments like Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and a significant reduction in faculty strength in African American Studies and Sociology and Anthropology. The cuts to faculty and staff positions have happened without consultations with academic workers, and they are likely not the last budget cuts that the University will see in the near future. Ohio University President Duane Nellis and his top administrators have taken a small pay cut, but he continues to make over $415,000 in annual compensation. While student enrollment at the University has not increased, expenditure on administrators has increased by close to $38 million since 2012. The various cost-cutting initiatives introduced by OU administrators will have limited, if any, impact on the University’s commitment to athletics, which is close to $16-20 million annually.