Letter to the Editor

MSU Moorhead students, faculty and staff are directly impacted by efforts to reduce a budget deficit that threatens to grow to $6 million by 2016. News coverage in The Advocate about this process is important and appreciated. In a story in the November 19 edition, there were some assertions made that deserve clarification.

– The article stated that there were 135 “buyouts” offered in the first round.  There were 97 offers to faculty who qualified for early separation incentives.

– The article stated that we will need to cut $3 million by FY15 and another overall $7.5 million during the next three years. The total reductions will be $6 million by the end of FY16.

– The article stated that the second round of buyouts will be offered Nov. 20 and will provide retiring faculty with two full years of pay. The incentives actually provide one full year of pay, deposited in the health care savings account. These will be offered in December.

– The article implied that faculty will be re-rostered based on whether they are qualified to teach in a given area.  Rosters are based on the programs in which faculty have their primary teaching assignments.

– The article implied that layoff notices would result in immediate termination.  Any tenure-track or tenured faculty member who receives a notice of layoff during this academic year will have continued employment at MSUM until May 2015. For any faculty with 20 or more years of employment, there is a longer period of continued employment.

– The chart on page 8 omitted one department where an early separation incentive was accepted: The School of Teaching and Learning.

University budgets are inherently complex, as are the contractually guaranteed conversations we engage in when reducing faculty or staff ranks.  We want to thank The Advocate for their continued coverage of this important process.

Anne Blackhurst, Provost and VP Academic Affairs

T. Gracyk, Faculty Association President

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