A federal arbiter decided that Youngstown State University must welcome back, immediately and with back pay, two professors of music it quickly retrenched last academic year. The arbiter, Jay Nadelbach, found that Youngstown State violated a provision of the faculty union contract on retrenchment procedures and that the two faculty grievants should be "made whole."
The university's National Education Association-affiliated faculty union says that faculty layoffs are premature and that Youngstown State's finances are stable, contrary to what administrators have stated about the effects of declining enrollment on the university's budget. This fall, for instance, the university put eleven departments on notice for additional possible faculty cuts.
The university said in a statement that it will abide by the arbiter's decision, but that this does not change "the financial realities facing YSU. The arbitrator himself conceded that retrenchment of faculty is a necessity given the university's economic condition, and he noted that even the faculty union did not disagree with the need for faculty retrenchments. We will continue to operate the university in a financially responsible and prudent manner that ensures a sustainable future for YSU, our students and our community."