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Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

University of Southern Miss is considering the elimination of its...economics department?

According to Inside Higher Ed (you can read the story here), the University of Southern Mississippi is considering the elimination of its economics department, so that it can reach a goal of reducing spending by $12 million. Note this: "Tenured and tenure-track faculty are legally required to a year's notice prior to termination, and economics faculty say they've already received such notice." Sound familiar? Well, no one has said anything at UC about eliminating tenure-track positions (let alone tenured ones), but if state-funded lecturers are all cut, and the cuts next year are as bad as the administration is threatening, then it's certainly something to keep in mind. It would be very useful to get a better read on what kind of programmatic cuts we should be expecting for the following year. The weak version of this cut might be something like forcing departments to subsidize themselves, through summer teaching, development efforts, and lowered requirements (thus allowing more students to graduate quickly). The strong version? Well, other schools are considering closing down departments, so can we expect to remain untouched in this regard?


Anonymous said...

My understanding is that union rules require state funded lectures to receive a year's notice if they are going to be cut, hence the letters that went out to them but not to others who may also face cuts. Our EVC said in a senate meeting that they have to do this as a default regardless of whether they will actually cut them or not.

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