Lincoln University staff facing lay-offs
JEFFERSON CITY - On May 9, less than one week until commencement, Lincoln University faculty received an email halting celebrations. The Office of Academic Affairs emailed staff members putting them on notice that 23 faculty members could be cut to meet a $1.8 million budget deficit.
We first heard about the email through an anonymous tip. Three faculty members forwarded the email to KOMU and confirmed they received it. All three faculty members have asked to remain anonymous because they worry it could put their jobs further at risk.
The email, attached below, said, "The Cabinet spent the entire day looking for other options (several of the budget subcommittee’s suggestions have been included) and we are still $1.8 million short. This amount has to come from salary; there are no other places to cut. A reduction of this size amounts to 23 faculty positions paid out of the General Fund."
Prior to the layoff email going out, one of the three faculty members said department heads were called to meet with the Administrative staff and members of the Academic Affairs office. One faculty member said Department heads were asked to submit names for Administration to consider letting go.
"As a group we refused," the faculty member said. "I refuse to have blood on my hands. I'm not going to participate in something like that. They are friends, family, colleagues."
The faculty member said, the Department Heads suggested alternatives to faculty layoffs. They said, one suggestion was Administrative layoffs because enrollment is down and faculty has already been reduced, yet administrative staff continues to increase.
According to Lincoln University's website, there are 2,049 students enrolled in graduate or undergraduate programs and the school has 100 full-time faculty members.
"We got the email announcing faculty lay-offs right after the meeting," the faculty member said. "Based on that, I don't think they listened to our suggestions."
We asked Lincoln University about the email regarding faculty reduction. The University said they are not granting interviews at this time but provided KOMU with a statement.
"Jefferson City, MO- Lincoln University hs been working diligently over several months to plan for a tighter budget in the upcoming fiscal year, based upon previous announcement from Governor Eric Greitens. This process continues, with every facet of the university considering potential savings. As of today, we have not formulated any fiscal plans for the FY2018 budget. A plan will be completed for approval by the Lincoln University Board of Curators during their June 8 meeting."
In February, Governor Eric Greitens' proposed almost a 10% budget cut to higher education. Lawmakers sent a 6.6% cut to Greitens' desk on May 4.