Faculty and staff positions hit by cuts

With another budget cut, this time of $13 million, faculty and staff positions have begun taking an unavoidable hit.
Over the summer, President John L. Crain and the university made a plan to make up for the shortfall of nearly $13 million, including a $9.1 million reduction from state funds.
“In any case, after all of these factors are taken into account, we must budget about $13 million less in expenditures in the new fiscal year than when we started the 2011-12 fiscal year,” stated Crain. “While this is obviously a significant budget reduction, the true magnitude is even more apparent when the cumulative amount of reduction in our state funds is considered. Since the beginning of the 2008-09 fiscal year, our state funds have been reduced by almost $40 million – essentially cut in half.”
Crain spoke with a group of students who hold various leadership positions on campus on Thursday, July 19 to inform them of the budget cuts and the plan that will be implemented. It was also an opportunity for those students to ask questions to the president himself.
One question asked was about the elimination of the 13 instructor and various part-time faculty positions, along with the reassignment of the courses to other faculty.
The positions in question would be spread throughout each department and factors such as performance, evaluations and critical positions held by faculty members would be considered. However, any instructor that has an increased course load would not receive additional pay.
Crain addressed the fact that, though difficult as it may be, faculty and staff layoffs were necessary to balance the budget.
“I am also very disappointed that we must resort to layoffs and workload increases,” stated Crain. “I especially regret the negative impact layoffs have on the lives of our colleagues, but unfortunately, the cumulative magnitude of reductions in state support and the reality that it is unlikely state support will increase in the foreseeable future leave us no choice. I am firmly convinced the prudent course is to right-size our operational footprint to be more consistent with our reduced resources.”
At the 2012 Convocation Ceremony, Crain addressed the audience about the budget cuts, further detailing the amount Southeastern’s staff and faculty has been slashed, with around 320 personnel being lost since 2009.
“All of these changes have not been easy, and they have not been fun,” said Crain. “Your workloads have increased, and it has been years since a pay raise. While this is certainly not all about me, on a personal level, I have been sued, cussed, accused, censured and called more bad names than I ever thought possible. And yet here we are today, beaten up pretty bad, but still operating, providing students with education opportunities and still meeting our GRAD Act performance levels.”
This is the latest cut in state funding to Southeastern’s overall operating budget, which has decreased in size from $127.6 million to $107.8 million since 2008-09. And from 2008 until now, state funds allocated to higher education have been cut by $420 million, according to The Advocate.
During his meeting with the student leaders, Crain did mention the possibility of a mid year cut, with the amount uncertain. But with the numerous cuts already made to higher education, as Crain states, “There is no doubt that this has been the most complicated and difficult budget reduction with which I have been involved in my 26-year career in higher education.”