NEWSLETTER, PSU-AAUP, HIGHER ED FACULTY

Reimagine/Reduce PSU?

November 16, 2021 / PSU-AAUP

We all received some new details last week on the Provost’s Program Reduction project, supposedly emerging in large part from a need to “achieve a sustainable budget.” While AAUP believes strongly in sustainable budgets, we fail to see the financial doom and gloom that the University seems to always predict since there has been a surplus every year from 2015-2020 and budgets are not shared in a transparent way. While there are some lingering COVID effects, enrollment is not nearly as bad as predicted for this fall, and things are looking up beyond enrollments. The state legislature fully funded the higher education budget request this year -- repeat: the state legislature fully funded the higher education budget request this year -- and is in a strong financial position more generally. Indeed, the state is so flush with cash, it will be returning a record-setting $1.9 billion to taxpayers in this year’s “kicker.” 

PSU-AAUP continues to monitor the program reduction process, and it’s twin the “reimagine PSU” initiative. As we asked a few weeks ago, please keep us informed about what is happening in your department and unit meetings. What are you hearing about potential mergers and reductions? What kinds of surveys or questions is management seeking? Are faculty being appropriately involved in these decisions? Please remember that you have the right to push back collectively and resist this enforced austerity agenda.

As noted in the last member news, we are especially glad to see that the Board of Trustees is starting to ask questions about PSU Administrations history of pessimistic budgeting. Stay tuned for more on these topics.

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