Financial Exigency, Program Closures, and Faculty Layoffs

By Jordan Kurland

At its fall 2012 meeting, Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure approved publication of a draft report on program closures and resulting terminations of faculty appointments on grounds of financial exigency. The report, The Role of the Faculty in Conditions of Financial Exigency, finds that recent program closures represent a massive transfer of power from faculty to administration over curricular matters for which the faculty should bear the primary responsibility. It insists that financial exigency be declared only when prolonged and drastic reductions in funds are substantially injuring the institution’s academic mission and that an appropriate faculty body be heavily involved in the decision-making process from the outset.

The draft report will be posted on the AAUP’s website at Comments are welcome and will be taken into account during the preparation of a final version of the report, which is expected to be presented for approval by Committee A and for adoption as official AAUP policy by the Council in June.

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