What is going on at CSU-Pueblo?

17 12 2013

From this morning’s Pueblo Chieftain:

Colorado State University-Pueblo administrators are revising next year’s budget projections and the new bottom line could mean as many as 50 positions on campus will go dark in fiscal year 2015.

The combination of declining state revenues and declining enrollment on the Belmont campus is forcing CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare to reassess next year’s ledger and cut projections by $3.3 million….

The cuts will come from faculty and staff.

This is the response from the CSU-Pueblo chapter of the American Association of University Professors, compiled after an emergency joint meeting yesterday afternoon with the Faculty Senate, read at a rally that I just attended (taken from the final draft that appeared in my e-mail last night):

As many of you are no doubt aware, CSU-Pueblo has been tasked with cutting 3.3 million dollars in the 2014-2015 budget. What may be less clear to some of you, is that job cuts are not a “possibility”; they are a foregone conclusion. Faculty and staff alike have been told to expect as many 50 of our co-workers will lose their jobs. More troubling is that, though most faculty just learned the specifics of the cuts on Friday, names and positions have already been submitted to the deans, and deans have submitted proposed cuts to the provost. We stand before you now, not just as faculty concerned for the future of academics at CSU-Pueblo, but as concerned citizens of Southern Colorado.

Our president, Dr. Lesley DiMare, has been stalwart in her work for CSU-Pueblo, but at the CSU Chancellor’s request, decisions have already been made regarding the process for identifying proposed personnel cuts — all at a time of the year when both faculty and students have left for the holiday break.

What this means is that proposals have been put forward with minimal faculty input and without adequate time to communicate information to those on campus and off who will be most affected by the layoffs that are coming. Few administrators or system officials seem to have considered the impact that 3.3 million dollars in lost salaries would have on our Southern Colorado region in a time when the CSU System is operating with a 200 million dollar surplus. Most importantly, while faculty do not dismiss a need to be frugal in difficult fiscal times, we were not allowed time to discuss this situation among departments or colleges, nor were we allowed the opportunity to adequately assess the impact that immediate budgetary cuts would have on our ability to serve students and our community.

We are asking now that Dr. DiMare and the CSU System chancellor, Michael Martin, allow faculty to take a more prominent role in developing alternative budget-cutting proposals that will avoid such a drastic impact on campus jobs. And, we are asking that our colleagues throughout the state, our alumni, our students, and our community partners contact our state representatives now. The future of CSU-Pueblo is very much at stake, and decisions made in haste now have the potential to harm our students and the community for years to come.

And here’s our rally:

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9 responses

17 12 2013
contingent cassandra

‘Tis the most wonderful time of the year. . . .for politicians and administrators to do sneaky things while they hope no one is paying attention.

I’m sorry. And I hope the protest has some effect. Somehow I’m guessing that you are not, in fact, overstaffed (and that nobody’s looking at laying off deans).

17 12 2013
Jonathan Rees

CC,

You have no idea how understaffed we are. We all run around like chickens with our heads cut off all semester, and they want to make it even worse for those of us who will remain. It’s all based on a political assumption that professors work only three per week which has no basis in reality.

17 12 2013
Alan trevithick

There’s a lot about higher education, particular in regard to faculty working conditions–that’s student learning conditions too, of course–that has no basis in reality. Here’s one reality–in 1995, less than a third of CSU-Pueblo’s faculty were part-timers. Now? About a half are–and together with some non-tenure track full-timers, there’s more “contingents” than there are traditional “regular” full-time faculty, the sort you still think about when you hear the word “professor.” Yes, most professors are poorly paid, poorly supported part-time contingent faculty with no real job security and not much to look forward to from institutions that cannot exist without them. That’s true at PSU-P and in most of the rest of the country too. This is the Majority Faculty: They’re qualified, dedicated, hard-working and, again, absolutely essential to higher education–but reliance on exploitation of adjunct, contingent faculty can’t continue forever, no matter how long and loud administrators plead, through good times and bad, “there’s no money.” C’mon Colorado, show the nation some leadership on this!

18 12 2013
Historiann

Is there any more reporting on this today, Jonathan? Drop some links here if there’s any more news on this. I didn’t see that the Denver Post picked this up this morning.

19 12 2013
Does gloating make me a bad person? | More or Less Bunk

[…] full essay treatment at a venue more popular than this blog. Besides, I’m kind of engaged in important local business right now. Nevertheless, what follows are a few quick thoughts about this […]

19 12 2013
VanessaVaile

Reblogged this on As the Adjunctiverse Turns.

19 12 2013
Feeling grinchy, and you? : Historiann : History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present

[…] For example, my colleague at CSU-Pueblo, Jonathan Rees, is fighing a fake budget crisis that threatens fifty jobs on his campus this week.  For […]

26 12 2013
“I want to see my family. My wife and child waiting for me.” | More or Less Bunk

[…] it’s about time for me to actually write about what’s going at CSU-Pueblo rather than just make juxtapositions using other people’s material. First of all, thank you everyone for all […]

16 01 2014
“Why don’t you call me sometime when you have no class?” | More or Less Bunk

[…] to make a glib attempt to follow along except my version of reforming higher education is to try to help save the jobs of up to fifty of my colleagues. That takes up an awful lot of my time these days, along with other important considerations apart […]

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