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ECU AAUP Resolution on Budgetary Shortfalls and Faculty Terminations of Employment
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ECU Chapter of the AAUP

Resolution on

Budgetary Shortfalls and

Faculty Terminations of Employment

Whereas        both ECU and the AAUP value the decision-making responsibilities of the faculty, especially in exigent times, and that ECU has affirmed a process of full faculty involvement in PART IX.II.7VII.A.1 of the Faculty Manual which begins with the full collaboration between the Interim Chancellor and the Educational Policies and Planning Committee (EPPC);

Whereas        Part IX details a rigorous protocol guiding termination of faculty and programs to protect the academic integrity of the University;

Whereas        any dismissal during the period of contract permits any faculty member to seek a full due process hearing in which the burden of proof is borne by the administration;

Whereas        the Interim Chancellor, during the pandemic of 2020, has reported steep revenue shortfalls requiring cuts to athletic programs and significant numbers of non-academic furloughs; and

Whereas        ECU defines Financial Exigency as: (PART IX.II.7VII.A.1) “…a significant decline in the financial resources of the institution that is brought about by decline in institutional enrollment or by other action or events that compel a reduction in the institution's current operations budget”; now, therefore be it

Resolved, that in the event the Interim Chancellor considers faculty terminations of employment (tenure, tenure-track or contingent) or program elimination, the ECU Chapter of the AAUP urges the Interim Chancellor first to:

  1. formally consult the Budget Committee regarding any institutional restructurings through a report that specifically states the budgetary shortfalls to the various colleges and other fiscal projections;

  1. make every attempt to reallocate existing resources to academic programs before considering closing them; 

  1. target any additional funds made available to campus toward maintaining the academic integrity of the institution, unless it is explicitly and statutorily targeted elsewhere by the funding agent;

  1. enact the following strategies to protect academic programs given the likelihood of further significant declines of revenue, including but not limited to:

  1. Deferral of nonessential capital expenditures and
  2. Cuts to noneducational programs and services, including expenses for administration;
  3. Expenditure of one-time money or reserves as bridge funding,
  4. Furloughs of higher income earners,
  5. Progressive pay cuts that take a larger percentage from higher income earners,
  6. Deferred-compensations plans,
  7. Early-retirement packages,

  1. consult with the EPPC, as outlined in Part IX of the Faculty Manual, in order to apprise the faculty of any deepening and worsening of the financial crisis at hand and, if he is considering a reduction in fixed-term or probationary-term faculty, that he follow the spirit of the reconsideration process by engaging the EPPC in discussions about any substantial reduction of faculty based on budgetary shortfalls;

  1. Engage and seek the recommendations of the Faculty Senate, the EPPC, and the Budget Committee, with full transparency and at the earliest opportunities, on any action related to a declaration of financial exigency;

  1. establish, upon receipt of the EPPC’s recommendations, an ad hoc Faculty Advisory Committee, members of which should include full-time non-administrative and contingent faculty, empowered with the information considered in any prior reports, and the ability to interview appropriate persons, who shall make recommendations about any faculty terminations of employment; and,

  1. offer contracts to any fixed-term or probationary-term faculty who are terminated before hiring any new faculty in their place, as in the spirit of the Part IX reconsideration provisions for tenured faculty.

Adopted by vote of the membership on July 20, 2020

Dr. Karin L. Zipf

President, ECU Chapter of the AAUP and

Professor of History

East Carolina University

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