Updates to faculty layoff plan and other stuff

General Campus News, Updates, Discussion
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ST_Lawson
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:17 am

Some updates of things on campus:

As mentioned before, at the BOT meeting, they approved the potential layoff plan.
Following the BOT meeting, faculty senate added to their agenda for their meeting last night "Discussion of Models of Votes of No Confidence" essentially to discuss holding a vote of no confidence in the President.
Prior to yesterday's meeting, the President announced that the faculty members with tenure would be removed from the "layoffs list". I don't know if this was in response to the possible vote of no confidence, in response to a threat of lawsuits, or was something that was planned before and just had weird timing.
I have heard that there were no discussions between the administration and the union in the meantime, so it's not like the union accepted the conditions that the administration laid out.
There are still quite a few people on the layoff list, but none are tenured faculty. I have not heard how the university plans to make up the difference, however.
More info at this article: http://chronicle.com/article/A-Universi ... -to/235061

Other things going on:

The last "deadline" for a state budget was supposed to be the end of January. That's not going to happen, and I've heard that the next "deadline" will be March (end of, I think), but if that doesn't happen either, it may be November. How this affects the universities in Illinois...
Chicago State will likely run out of money in March. If there is no budget in March, then the rumor is that they may get emergency funding to get them to the end of the Spring semester and then close the school.
Governors State and Northeastern IL appear to be in similar situations...although they can make it to the end of the Spring semester themselves. If no state budget by summer, then it's likely that they would also close for the Fall semester.
If both of these happen, that would leave UIC as the only public university in the Chicago area, and really no schools serving the lower income students.

Eastern Illinois has already gone through rounds of furloughs and layoffs, there are rumors that they may be folded into the U of I system...UICh? UIE?

As for Western, we should be ok in the "short term" (ok as in not completely closing the university). We have money to get us through to the Fall, and apparently once tuition money comes in in the fall, we should be good through to November (a possible time that the budget could be approved). We can still do some program cuts, maybe some pay decreases and/or furlough days, so there's still a few options. I am unable to even speculate what could happen if we reach 2017 and still don't have any state money. It won't look good.
The only "good" news for us is that the university has been very focused on getting students from the Chicago area, and if some (or most) of the Chicago area public universities close, we'd likely see a decent enrollment boost from transfers from those schools. That could help our situation...for a while, at least.

Not trying to depress everyone, just trying to give you all an update of what's going on and what I'm hearing from people. I'll try to keep you all updated on any new info I hear.
Scott Lawson - Board Admin
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sealhall74
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:45 am

ST, thanks for keeping us informed. Let me go on the record saying that if this shit is not straightened out by July 1, my six figure donation to higher education in the State of Illinois upon my departure from this Earth will become null and void.
If Jimmy V was a programmer like me, he would have said it like this: while (!(succeed = try()));
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ST_Lawson
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:05 am

sealhall74 wrote:ST, thanks for keeping us informed. Let me go on the record saying that if this shit is not straightened out by July 1, my six figure donation to higher education in the State of Illinois upon my departure from this Earth will become null and void.
Oh, don't worry. If Rauner really gets his way, there just won't be state-run higher education in Illinois. He wants it all privatized...he's said he really likes the Devry model :roll:
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leatherface
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:19 am

SealHall74- If that should happen, you could forward that six figure amount to me. I promise to spend it wisely :)
wiu712
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:55 am

From today's "McDonough County Voice":
President confirms 12 tenured faculty pulled from layoff list.
http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/2016 ... ayoff-list
wiu712
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Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:00 pm

From WGEM News:

WIU union questions Board of Trustees decision on layoffs.
http://www.wgem.com/story/31063767/2016 ... on-layoffs


WIU Students react to recent budget cuts.
http://www.wgem.com/story/31063868/2016 ... udget-cuts
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leatherface
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:30 pm

Scott- Is there still talk among faculty of a no confidence in Thomas?
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ST_Lawson
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:01 pm

leatherface wrote:Scott- Is there still talk among faculty of a no confidence in Thomas?
I haven't heard anything about it since Monday. I think that the biggest bone of contention was the methodology with which the administration decided who would be on the list. Depending on interpretation of the contract, they could have been violating the terms of the contract by firing tenured professors (there's an order of precedence that they're supposed to follow, with tenured profs being down the list quite a bit). Another point was that the administration sent out what was essentially "firing memos" to faculty members...not official firing notices, but just letting them know...but any official layoffs like that have to be approved by the BOT first.

So, once the administration stepped back from firing the tenured professors, there was less to challenge legally. I think at this point that the faculty is probably in a "holding pattern" waiting to see what happens. They're still obviously not happy, but the biggest issue has, at least temporarily, been resolved (or put on hold).
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Tere North
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:48 pm

Eliminating departments/programs will likely happen, which even if they kept some classes, would greatly reduce the need for faculty. Then those faculty with tenure would have the option of retraining in an "in demand" area or leaving, with 6-12 months notice depending on their status. This has been done before at Western when Math absorbed Stats and some faculty retrained in Computer Science.
vatusay
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Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:27 pm

leatherface wrote:Scott- Is there still talk among faculty of a no confidence in Thomas?
Does anyone within the school or community honestly have any confidence in him?
#ALLIN #YOLO
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