Budget cuts mean changes in faculty and gen ed class size

By Montgomery Sparrow and Tyler Whetstone

After weeks of meetings and planning, Trevecca officials are still in the process of making budget cuts on campus.

President Dan Boone charged administrators with cutting at least $1.2 million for the 2014-2015 school year.

It’s still unclear exactly how those cuts will play out on campus, but administrators did have to notify faculty by March 1 if their contracts were not going to be renewed for the following year.

As of now, around six or seven full-time faculty members will not return next year and that includes faculty that are retiring or have resigned to take jobs elsewhere, as well as those who were notified their contracts would not be renewed.

“Right now my list looks like six or seven positions that we’re talking about,” said Provost Steve Pusey.  “We could get more after contracts go out, but we’ve tried to figure that out ahead of time this year.”

Officials estimate that about two-thirds of the $1.2 million that must be cut will come from personnel.  Salaries make up nearly half of the annual operating budget.

The change students are likely to most notice next year is larger general education courses.

“Probably our biggest impact for next year will be on our adjunct budget,” Pusey said. “It’s really grown in the last few years, so we’re spending a lot of money on adjuncts. That’s one of the things we’re trying to get down.”

This year Trevecca paid about 160 adjunct professors around $2.5 million.

“So by cutting back and streamlining some of the programs somewhat we’re going to be having our full-time faculty more in those classes rather than adjuncts,” Pusey said.

In most cases, adjuncts will remain employed but just teach fewer sections.

Administrators said it’s hard to give a number at this point of how many less faculty will be on campus next year as contracts will go out at the end of the month and don’t have to be returned until April.

As faculty retire, resign or are not offered a contract, administrators will decide if  the position will be filled based on enrollment and other needs.

“Some of the positions will go unfilled this next year, but the plan would probably be to see how undergraduate enrollment settles out another year and then maybe rehire some of those,” said David Caldwell, executive vice president of finance and administration.

Officials would not name faculty members who are not returning. They cited confidentially and legal issues when discussing personnel.

Changes and cuts in staff positions are also happening.

“We’ve been slowly making some other changes in nonacademic areas too,” Caldwell said.  “But we need some time to pass before some of those are discussed.”

The undergraduate programs at Trevecca are divided into four schools.  The deans that oversee those schools said they could not name specific faculty members, but did offer an overview of the changes coming in their schools for the next year.

The School of Business and Technology

The School of Business and Technology will not have any changes in programs or number of faculty.

James Hiatt, the Dean of the School of Business and Technology, said there are no planned cuts for his area.

“We are not in the position to do any new hires, but we pretty well solidified the number of faculty we need now,” Hiatt said.

Three years ago, the School of Business and Technology cut two faculty members because of  low enrollment in the MBA program. Since then, the school has seen increased enrollment in their MBA program.

Dean Diehl, dean of the Music Business program, announced in January he is returning to a record label.  The school is searching for his replacement.

Millard Reed School of Theology & Christian Ministry

The Millard Reed School of Theology & Christian Ministry will also not have any changes in their programs and faculty.

Timothy Green, the Dean of the Millard Reed School of Theology & Christian Ministry and University Chaplain, said there will be no faculty cuts and faculty will teach the same classes they have always taught.

The school will decrease the number of Intro to Biblical Faith classes.

“As can often be the case, I have heard a rumor among some students that maybe certain faculty in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry may not be back or that certain minors will no longer be offered. I can confirm that any of this is just that, rumors,” Green said.

The School of Education

The School of Education will be maintaining the same programs for next year.

“Programs remain intact and will continue to be assessed based on need,” stated Suzann Harris, Dean of the School of Education, in an email.

Two faculty members of the School of Education will be retiring this year.  Harris did not say if those positions would be filled.

The School of Arts and Science

The School of Arts and Sciences will see a change in numbers of faculty and programs.

The Department of Communication Studies will have changes in curriculum and faculty numbers.

 “We’ve developed a new curriculum that has been approved,” said Lena Welch, Dean of the School of Arts and Science. “It distinguishes between multi-media journalism and media arts and studies.”

The communication department will be losing its two mass media professors and will be downsizing the two faculty positions into one.

​The art program is not getting cut completely. The art minor is remaining in Trevecca’s catalogue with the hope that an adjunct professor with be hired and modify the program. In the mean time, the amount of classes taught each semester is being reduced. Instead of the three classes per semester that is currently offered, the art program is being reduced to two classes per semester. The classes will remain as three credit hours each.

Other Arts and Sciences faculty members will be retiring and others have notified the university that they are leaving for other jobs.  Welch said those positions may or may not be filled depending on program needs.

The most noticeable change to students is likely to be general education course scheduling, Welch said.

Students will see fewer sections of Health & Wellness, Speech Com, Fine Arts, World Civilization, Issues in Science, and some other general education courses.  Most general education courses also will have larger enrollment caps.

Students with questions or concerns should contact Welch, or their department chair.

 

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