Over two dozen Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties members received letter of intent to retrench, an APSCUF press release said.
The intended retrenchment, if it goes through, will take place at the end of the 2023-24 academic year.
Mansfield University sent out 23 letters and Lock Haven University sent out three. The union does not expect more letters to be sent out this month, Jamie Martin, the APSCUF president said.
Retrenchment has loomed over the denizens of Pennsylvania in the recent past. “Every letter is traumatic for the faculty member who receive it - and for their colleagues and students,” Martin said.
A letter does not guarantee a faculty member will lose their job, the press release said. APSCUF is working to find alternatives like transferring qualified faculty to other departments or universities in PASSHE .
APSCUF has been trying to avoid cuts since Spring 2020 when Dan Greenstein, PASSHE chancellor called for the student/faculty ratios to return to 2011 numbers, according to the press release. Retrenchment, although lowering the student/faculty ratio, affects the quality of higher education in Pennsylvania and places increases pressure on the faculty in state schools.
“Even one retrenchment is a great loss,” Martin said. “It’s no coincidence that Pennsylvania ranks at or near the bottom when it comes to funding for higher education, perpetuating a vicious cycle of enrollment declines as well as faculty and staff cuts.” Typically, retrenchments take place at the end of the year they are issued. These potential retrenchments have been pushed back due to a “side-letter agreement between APSCUF/Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education,” according to the press release.
Oct. 30, 2021 was the first deadline for sending letters of intent. Subsequent deadlines include Dec. 1, for probationary non-tenured staff beyond the second year, Dec. 15, for second-year probationary non-tenured faculty members and Mar. 1, for first-year probationary non-tenured faculty.