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Published: Saturday, 1/19/2013

BGSU to cut 100 faculty positions; move would eliminate nearly 11% of school's faculty this fall

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey. Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey.
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BOWLING GREEN — Nearly 11 percent of Bowling Green State University’s faculty will be eliminated for the 2013 fall semester, the school announced Friday.

The reduction of 100 full-time jobs at the main campus and Firelands campus in Huron, Ohio, will be accomplished through attrition, retirements, and the expiration of some one-year teaching contracts, a BGSU spokesman said.

The college has 932 full-time faculty members on the campuses.

Provost Rodney Rogers said in a statement the reductions are not expected to affect the quality of education for the 20,000 students enrolled at BGSU.

“Our priority is ensuring the success of our students, and we are constantly evaluating staffing to meet their needs and operate as efficiently as possible,” said Mr. Rogers, senior vice president for academic affairs. “This will not impact the quality of a BGSU education or a student’s ability to graduate on time.”

BGSU spokesman Dave Kielmeyer said the job reductions are expected to save about $5.2 million, which will be reallocated to other university priorities, including salaries for faculty and staff.

The university did not specify reasons for the reductions or what kind of course work would be affected.

“Over time, students’ interest in areas of study changes, and the university must adjust to meet these evolving teaching needs,” Mr. Kielmeyer said.

Faculty at the college voted in October, 2010, to unionize, and as the BGSU Faculty Association, representing about 800 full-time instructors, began negotiating a first-ever contract with the administration in August, 2011.

David Jackson, president of the faculty association, said he and other faculty members were not told of the reductions by the administration.

He disputed Mr. Rogers’ claim the cuts will not harm students’ education, especially in the low student-to-teacher ratio the college prominently features on its Web site.

“These are not aimless cuts that will not have an effect on students,” he said.

He said it will be impossible to cut 100 teachers’ jobs without drastically affecting class sizes.

“It is unconceivable that this will not have a negative effect on the quality of education here at BGSU,” Mr. Jackson said, adding that President Mary Ellen Mazey publicly has endorsed boosting enrollment to 25,000.

The college says it maintains a classroom ratio of about one professor for every 20 students.

Mr. Jackson said plans to not renew teachers with one-year contracts are deceiving because many instructors in those positions have been employed for several years and are resigned yearly.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

 



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