Five universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education have notified their local chapters of the system's faculty union about possible layoffs by the end of the 2017-18 academic year.
California, Cheyney, Clarion, Edinboro and Mansfield Universities all told the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties about the possibility as part of the institutions' collective bargaining agreement. While faculty members may not lose their jobs, the news adds to an atmosphere of uncertainty, said Kenneth Mash, the union's president.
"We understand finances are tight, but cutting programs and faculty members is penny-wise and pound-foolish," Mash said in a written statement. "Limiting opportunities will not help universities heal or grow. It certainly does nothing to encourage potential students to enroll."
Enrollment at the system of 14 state institutions has declined by 12 percent since 2010. It is facing a projected $79 million funding shortfall for next year.
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