A campus under financial stress can cut all kinds of people who aren’t faculty instead of making a queen sacrifice. Case in point : the University of Akron, which announced the end of 213 staff positions. That’s 161 people canned, not including currently unfilled jobs.
“The measures are intended to plug a $60-million budget shortfall over the next three years,” explains the Chronicle of Higher Education. The reasons for this deficit are various, and might include a new sports stadium, expanding debt service, and outsourcing that turned out more costly than planned.
What kind of staff positions have been cut? This solid Ohio.com article lays them out in detail. They include jobs in custodial services, an arts center, maintenance, libraries, a scholarly press, a multicultural center, administrative support, technicians, student services, legal services, enrollment, academic advisors, career services (“The University of Akron’s Career Center, which is supposed to provide help to the newly unemployed, was itself a victim of cutbacks”), sports, and IT, plus several assistant deans.
Reminder: these are the folks usually classified as “administration.”
A demographic note: Ohio is graying, losing the under-20 population, like much of the American midwest and northeast. Akron itself is seeing its average inhabitant’s age increase. To the extent that UA draws its traditional-age undergraduates from Ohio and the midwest they will suffer increasing tuition challenges.
Are such cuts now what we think of as part of the new normal?
(thanks to the Remaking the University Facebook group and from discussion on this Chronicle of Higher Education article)