The American Association of University Professors announced Thursday that it has authorized a committee to investigate a decision by Southern University at Baton Rouge last year to declare a financial exigency and a proposed reorganization that could lead to at least 35 faculty members losing their jobs. “The declaration of financial exigency and the reorganization plan went forward without adequate faculty input,” said Jennifer Nichols, senior program officer at the AAUP. “The declaration of this exigency gives the administrators more leeway in terminating tenured faculty members.” Nichols said that at least 10 tenured faculty members had received notices of termination so far.
According to The Advocate in Baton Rouge, the restructuring aims to cut about $8 million from the university’s budget in the next school year. Employees at the university were subjected to furloughs for the current fiscal year.
Administrators at the university have said that state budget cuts made the declaration of a financial emergency and a reorganization necessary, and they received input from faculty members during the process.