Keene State College will be losing a total of 90 faculty and staff by the end of the academic year.
President Melinda Treadwell announced 61 staff members and 27 faculty members applied and were accepted for early retirement incentive programs and will leave the college by June 30, 2021.
This recent development is a result of recent faculty and staff line reductions in which the college had a surplus of faculty and staff in departments and areas where student demand wasn’t as high. President Treadwell said the voluntary retirement program was launched to fulfill these faculty and staff line reductions, so that the college would not have to resort to retrenchment which would involve dismissing faculty and staff members from the college.
According to President Treadwell, 20 staff lines and 21 faculty lines will be eliminated from the organization. Applicable staff will be leaving by June 30 and applicable faculty will leave by June 25. Out of the 21 faculty lines, 15 were targeted through the Academic Program Strength Assessment plus six additional lines that the deans and departments have concluded will not be requested for replacement immediately. Treadwell added that succession plans are in development for both staff and faculty lines to ensure student learning and support experiences are not negatively affected at the beginning of the next academic year.
President Treadwell added that students won’t feel any turbulence as a result of these departures. She said that two faculty members are expected to leave in December and January, and the rest will leave in June.
“Students won’t feel it at all,” Treadwell said. “Students should not be seeing faculty members getting up and leaving in the middle of the semester.”
The college will interview candidates for new hires in the spring and will be working at the college at the start of the following semester. President Treadwell said the new hires will crossover with the departures.
According to President Treadwell, the college will be losing several senior faculty professors and hiring new, young replacements. She said this will be cost effective, and hiring new professors will benefit students.
“It’s how you keep academics vibrant; by bringing on new people,” Treadwell said.
Out of the 15 faculty lines that were targeted to be reduced, 10 line reductions were accomplished through the voluntary retirements and departures. Out of these five lines, two are in the English department, one from the music department, one from the art department and one from the economics department. These five lines were unable to produce voluntary retirements, but President Treadwell believes three of the five line reductions can be accomplished through faculty transfers to other departments. She added that those who choose to transfer would submit their resume and be interviewed for the position.
President Treadwell said she hopes to announce the final details about the remaining five faculty lines by January. For the remaining faculty line reductions that cannot be accomplished through retirements or transfers, she said the college will have to go to retrenchment.
“Retrenchment is a last resort because I have to pick someone,” Treadwell said. “It would no question be one of the hardest decisions I will make in my career but it’s necessary because we have imbalances in some areas.”
President Treadwell said she thinks retrenchment will occur in February.
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