The AAUP will send a committee to the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, to inquire into issues raised by mass layoffs. The two members of the committee of inquiry are AAUP members from other church-related institutions with expertise in academic freedom, tenure, and governance.
Members of the faculty at the College of Saint Rose sought the advice and assistance of the AAUP as a result of a December 11 notice of layoff, effective December 29, 2016, sent to twenty-three tenured and tenure-track faculty members.
The notice stated that layoffs were necessitated by “extraordinary financial challenges due in significant part to declining or continued low enrollment in certain programs” and were preceded by “an academic prioritization process.” According to faculty sources, the process employed to reach the decision to terminate twenty-seven programs and, with them, the appointments of twenty-three tenured and tenure-track faculty members bore very little resemblance to AAUP-recommended procedures, which are widely accepted in the academic community.
The AAUP committee is charged with interviewing members of the college administration and board and officers of the faculty and of the college’s AAUP chapter, with tendering advice when sought, and with preparing a report. The visit is to take place in late January.