LSU postpones faculty cuts
Some faculty at LSU got more time and won't lose their jobs in January. The chancellor delayed lay-offs until next August.
Earlier this year, LSU notified more than 200 non-tenured faculty they could be fired in January of next year. Now, the university extended the possible end date even further to August. The lay-offs were recommended when the state slashed LSU's budget.
School leaders said today's announcement is good news, especially for faculty on the chopping block.
"People who could've been let go at the end of the semester will be extended through the spring term. What happens after that depends on the amount of money that's provided to support LSU," said John Hamilton, LSU's Vice Chancellor and Provost.
However, it's not all good news for LSU faculty.
"The downside of that is if you're somebody who wants to know for sure where you're gonna be, it's harder to say, 'We don't have an answer for you,'" said Mark Huntsman, a French teaching assistant at LSU.
Huntsman said he thinks the process of deciding who stays and goes could end up costing students in the long run.
"Just making sweeping generalizations about who to keep and who not to keep based on experience, I think that ignores a lot of crucial facts. Some of our non-tenured faculty do some of the most vital work within the department," said Huntsman.
Members of the faculty senate said even the possibility of cuts could decimate the school's prestige.
"It's very bad for LSU because the collection of faculty that we gather over the years, if they start to go elsewhere, it takes years and years, maybe even a decade, to build it up again," said Pratul Ajmera, an electrical engineering professor and Vice President of the LSU Faculty Senate.
Until a definitive decision is made, faculty leaders said students have no choice but to take classes from dozens of demoralized teachers. LSU officials said some teachers who were warned of the cuts earlier this year may still get the ax in January if department heads feel the firings are necessary.