Anyone here about Lloyd Jacobs asking for furloughs at The University of Toledo?
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Lots of rumors flying around, ilovetoledo, but it is hard to pin down fact and true rumor-mongering. I know that the admonistration has stepped up efforts for faculty members to accept buyouts (especially those with longer tenure, i.e. more expensive). There has been greater consolidation of courses to save money - as an adjunct I lost teaching a course this way this semester. Then there was the layoff of 160 part-time employees in non-teaching positions a few months ago.
I personally know of two hiring searches cancelled at the last minute due to budgetary woes, and that was in a department that already is understaffed. I have heard of others in several other departments.
There was a story in the Independent Collegian last week describing likely cuts in student scholarships due to the poor performance of the stock portfolio of the UT Foundation. As someone on a university fellowship, this also hits close to home, and I am preparing as though I will be a budget victim again on this front. If I am lucky, I might dodge the budgetary axe.
The various colleges have also been asked to prepare for the worst, drawing up budgets that are 7 percent smaller and 15 percent smaller to illustrate what they would do if the recession/depression continues its downward course.
These are the things I know.
Then, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, there are both known unknowns and unknown unknowns. It would not surprise me that furloughs, more layoffs (this time of full-timers), and service cutbacks are in the offing. I am sure that state support for higher education will get the smackdown in the next 1-2 years, despite the rosy pontifications of our governor.
I have heard that there is pressure to reduce the number of visiting professor positions, which are 9-month contracts that offer higher pay than by farming out individual classes to part-timers. A part-time adjunct with an MA makes $2250 for a 3-credit course, while paying a VAP $35K to teach a 4/4 course load (4 classes in Fall and Spring) works out to a little over $4000 a class before payroill taxes and benefits. Part-timers, of course, also do not receive benefits, and the amount of money the university has to kick in for STRS or OPERS (whatever retirement plan the person falls under) is also that much lower.
If there is any good news, it is that UT's enrollment has been on an upswing for a couple of years in a row now, and recessions typically result in an increase in the number of people returning to school. I hope that both of these factors hold true, and that increases in enrollment somewhat mitigate the problems that UT faces with revenue.
All that being said: UT is not unique, and every college and university in the country is doing the same sort of scrambling and shuffling. This is an unprecedented time for higher education, since the American university system really came into its modern form in the 1950s and 1960s.
President Jacobs has been appearing in a series of videos posted on UT's website. I'm not certain how long the one I saw yesterday has been online, but in that video he does mention the possibility of furloughs. My co-workers and I haven't heard anything more than that at this point.
I should also say that if an unpaid furlough would help me keep my job, I would willingly make that sacrifice.
Toledo is better positioned now than they were 3 or 4 years ago. While budgets are tight now, if there wasn't the momentum created by the merger the budget woes would be horrendous. I think Jacobs and company have actually positioned UT to come out of this recession stronger than peer institutions that it was below prior to the recession.
Just curious Hey Hey - do you think it was the merger between UT and MCO that is positioning them to emerge stronger or something else?
The merger was the initiating event that has really had a domino effect on all aspects of the university. With the exception of football, the original University of Toledo had been in the doldrums for close to a decade. Attendance was fading slowly but steadily to around 17-18,000 and well below BGSU. Research and name recognition didn't tank, but it didn't really go anywhere eiher. It just sort of existed in a lot of ways. Once the merger happened, things changed. Research suddenly started to become more and more publicized, and total research funding increased. Marketing campaigns changed to include the hospital operations and services, which to much of the public is "sexy." High schools students interested in health-related professions suddenly had another option that offered the same range of options as places like Ohio State and Univ of Cincinnati. Those students have increasingly chosen UT.
Another factor is Jacobs himself. When he retires I see him being viewed as one of the most successful presidents in UT history. His background is solidly academic, but he also fully understands that money matters in the world of higher education. I remember when he first came to MCO back in 2003 some of the researchers were really upset because he was so "business" oriented. What they didn't realize is that the business aspect has to be at the center of the university's goals because without money nothing happens. You can have the best researchers and the best academicians and the best students, but without money you can do nothing. His first task at MCO when he arrived was to cut huge numbers of jobs, but within a couple years institutional strength and employment was greater than it would have been had those cuts not taken place. He brought the understanding that sometimes cuts are needed in order for growth to occur to UT when the merger happened. One of the first things he did when he arrived as president of UT was to cut unneeded employees. While at the time people were unhappy about it, he remade much of UT to better withstand a financial downturn.
Unfortunately, as the university has strengthened itself the football team has taken a turn for the worse.
Interesting and I do agree. BTW, what year are you in medical school?
I'm in my 4th, and final!, year. I'll be moving somewhere in the next 2 months or so and start residency in July.