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BGSU finalizing faculty cuts

Alissa Widman Neese • Dec 5, 2013 at 10:40 AM

A slew of upcoming faculty cuts at Bowling Green State University’s main campus will leave BGSU Firelands virtually unaffected.

Only one of 30 recently announced reductions will occur at the branch campus, according to university officials. All cuts impact full-time faculty members and are effective next school year.

Raymond Young, an early childhood education instructor, was recently informed BGSU Firelands will not renew his teaching contract. He has taught at the branch campus for eight years, six full-time, and is responsible for placing and supervising the college’s student teachers.

If possible, Young said he plans to continue teaching courses as an adjunct faculty member.

“It’s been a wonderful teaching experience and a terrific opportunity,” Young said. “I was very surprised when given the news. I’m hoping they will, in the short term, re-evaluate and reconsider my position, and other positions as well”

To determine cuts at both campuses, officials considered which programs could withstand a loss in faculty members while still providing quality programs, ultimately saving costs, said Dean Schnurr, BGSU Firelands spokesman.

BGSU Firelands is projecting a deficit ranging from $114,000 to $355,000 in the upcoming school year, with an annual operating budget of about $13.9 million, Schnurr said.

Young’s annual salary and benefits totaled about $59,500.

Overall, the 30 reductions will save Bowling Green State University about $1.4 million a year, main campus spokesman Dave Kielmeyer said.

The university was projecting a deficit ranging from $3 million to $10 million during the next two to three years, with an annual operating budget of about $280.5 million, Kielmeyer said.

“The most important thing, for us, is to make sure we’re not transferring these budget decreases onto the students,” Schnurr said. “We want to maintain a tuition that’s reasonable and affordable, while still providing a high-quality education”

The university’s faculty union is strongly opposed to the reductions, which it asserts will still negatively impact students, said David Jackson, its president.

“These cuts represent a 13 percent reduction in the number of BGSU faculty over the past two years,” Jackson said. “These cuts can only mean fewer classes, larger classes, longer time for students to graduate and more reliance on part-time instructors”

Faculty members officially unionized in May.

That same day, Bowling Green State University officials eliminated 73 teaching positions, with 43 main campus faculty members losing their jobs.

The remaining reductions — including two at BGSU Firelands — occurred by not replacing positions left vacant by retirements or resignations. In total, the cuts saved the university about $3.2 million annually.

Bowling Green State University employs 870 fulltime faculty members, while BGSU Firelands employs 52.

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