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Mass Layoffs at College of Saint Rose

By Gregory F. Scholtz

In May, the Association published on its website an investigating committee’s report on the termination of twenty-three tenured and tenure-track appointments at the College of Saint Rose in New York. The terminations were a result of program reductions and closures that followed a three-month “academic prioritization process” that did not involve the faculty. The affected faculty members received notice on December 11, 2015, that their appointments would terminate at the end of the fall 2016 semester.

The investigating committee found that, in effecting the terminations in disregard of AAUP-recommended procedures for financial exigency or for discontinuing programs for educational reasons, the administration and governing board violated the joint 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure and Regulation 4 of the Recommended Institutional Regulations on Academic Freedom and Tenure. It also found that the process by which programs were selected for reduction or elimination departed not only from relevant AAUP-supported governance standards but also from the college’s own regulations. The investigating committee concluded that the program cuts and resulting terminations were the product of a failure of oversight at the presidential and board levels.

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