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University, Faculty Association reach agreement regarding cuts

After entering into a discussion two months ago, University officials and the Faculty Association reached a resolution resolving disputes about the faculty cuts announced in December.

The agreement addresses the 30 non-tenure track faculty on one-year contracts who were notified that their contracts would not be renewed, as well as the 10 faculty members on terminal contracts.

Signed by both parties on Monday, the agreement provides severance pay to 18 individuals with four or more years at the University and also reappoints five individuals on terminal contracts or one year contracts for next academic year, said Bill Balzer, vice president for Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives.

Though not stipulated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the University applied seniority rules to the 10 individuals who were not returning on terminal contracts. While five of them will return, an additional five non-tenure-track faculty with one to three years of service will be cut as a way to “offset” the returning terminal faculty, Balzer said.

Those notifications will be made by April 1, as stipulated in the contract.

Another two individuals who were originally cut will return next year to jobs that opened at the University in November.

Both University officials and the Faculty Association decided to avoid the grievance process, instead discussing the issue and coming to an informal resolution, Balzer said. This, he said, allowed for more consensus.

“We started seeing there might be some opportunity for more conversation,” Balzer said. “It brought both parties together.”

Both parties can now make sure education remains the University’s focus, Balzer said. Specifically, both parties will work together to recruit and retain students, particularly at the upcoming President’s Day event.

“We agreed that we need to move forward together,” Balzer said. “We’re happy we’ve been able to reach this agreement.”

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