Job Cuts Loom at MSUM

MSUM VP announces cuts to temporary faculty positions

BY: Ashley Johnson

The new year has not brought answers for several faculty members at MSUM, whose jobs hang in the air.  

Kourtney Lockey with Valley News Live broke the story in early December that six faculty in Leadership and Learning would be losing their jobs at the end of the year.  

The following day, Tanner Robinson with Inforum published an article, this one citing a source. Campus rep Kirsten Robinson told Inforum that the exact number of jobs is unknown until the budget is finalized. 

A later update from Joshua Peguero reports a total of twelve job losses. Inter Faculty Organization President Matthew Craig told Valley News Live, “Ideally, we would see all the temporary positions converted into permanent positions, but sometimes they end instead.”

MSUM IFO President responds

Matthew Craig, President of MSUM’s Inter Faculty Organization, spoke about budget cuts and how they are affecting staff for the 2021-22 school year. 

The budget for 2020-21 at MSUM has yet to be finalized. 

“The extra wrinkle this year is that in the fall it was realized that there were some cuts that were planned, but not actually carried out,” Craig said. The budget was left unbalanced.  

The Vice President of Academic Affairs, a job that has recently seen some changes, has a large hand in finalizing the college’s budget. There has been an interim VP for the last two years. 

 This academic year brought another new Vice President. Sometimes with transition comes turmoil. 

“Essentially what happened last year was a breakdown in communication, probably in a number of different places,” Craig explained. 

One specific instance was last year when someone was on a leave of absence, and they were not being paid. That person returned this year. 

“That’s fine, but somebody, at some stage in the process, said, we don’t need to account for this person anymore, because they’re not here,” Craig said. This prompted administration to look for possible cuts to make. 

These cuts were found in temporary jobs.  

“Both types of temporary faculty are represented by the IFO. They are an essential part of our faculty, and the university could not function without them,” said Craig. It seems the university will have to learn how to function without some of them in the next academic year. 

“It’s a hard transition for them, and their programs.” 

It seems these departments were bound for change soon anyway. As Craig notes, “There are no layoffs df faculty planned. The temporary positions usually come to an end, or are made into permanent positions.”  

The cuts did not come with silence from the various departments. 

“Several departments have brought concerns to administration about how much money we could lose in the long run by losing prospective students to these now limited programs,” Craig acknowledged. “We’ve shared our concern about some of those impacts and anticipate that the administration will address some of them.”

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