Eastern sees layoffs start during summer months

Stephanie Markham, Editor-in-Chief

Though sparsely populated during the summer as usual, Eastern experienced a lot of activity as news of university-wide layoffs spread across campus.

President David Glassman first announced his plans for reducing expenses with layoffs on June 30.

In his initial email, Glassman cited the need to avoid a projected deficit of between $12 million and $14 million based on the General Assembly’s proposed 6.5 percent cut in appropriations.

Though fiscal year 2016 began July 1, legislators have yet to approve any spending bills other than elementary and secondary education and road construction for the state.

Meaning, universities are left to make payments out of tuition and income funds until state appropriations come in rather than drawing from both equally.

This also means Eastern’s budget of about $172 million for fiscal year 2016, which the Board of Trustees approved June 26, is preliminary.

Therefore, expenditures could change depending on how much money comes in from the state.

Eastern’s budget predicts an 11.7 percent decrease in personnel services, down from about $107 million to $94.5 million.

Glassman also stated in his initial announcement that the vice presidents would have to provide him with layoff recommendations for their areas by the end of July.

The first of the layoffs came when three of the university’s electricians were let go as of July 10.

Faculty layoffs were then revealed July 13, as the university was set to eliminate about 40 positions.

An announcement from Glassman stated 26 annually contracted faculty members would be laid off, three would be reduced to half time and 10 additional positions would not be filled.

As a result, some department chairs had to consolidate or cancel previously scheduled classes to compensate for the loss of professors.

Of the 32 academic departments and two academic program areas on campus, 18 were affected by the faculty reductions.

Glassman then announced on July 15 that Administrative and Professional employees would take unpaid furlough days, with those earning a higher salary taking more days.

The highest salary group, making $150,000 per year or more, would take 14 days, while the lowest group, making between $50,000 and under $75,000, would take seven days.

Those who made less than $50,000 would take no days, and Glassman himself would take a pay cut equivalent of 16 days.

Eastern is projected to save $700,000 with this particular measure, which affects about 222 employees.

Moving forward, a press release on Tuesday, said the university identified 118 civil service and Administrative and Professional employees for elimination.

More than 50 of those positions are vacant, which will result in 67 layoffs. Civil service employees are also entitled to “bumping” rights in which those with higher seniority can take the jobs of those below them.

Those employees have 30 days to decide whether to use their bumping rights, and which specific employees would be eliminated will not be certain until after that is figured out.

More information about layoffs throughout the university will be shared when it becomes available.


Stephanie Markham can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]