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Layoffs possible for faculty at IUP

Indiana University of Pennsylvania has warned its faculty union of the possibility of layoffs as the state school looks at ways to reduce a projected $12 million shortfall in next year's budget, a union official said Thursday.

IUP officials discussed the possibility of "retrenchment of faculty and/or the furloughs of management and staff" earlier this week with Susan Drummond, president of the university's chapter of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, according to a news release issued yesterday by the union.

University officials told Drummond the school "will take every reasonable measure to avoid retrenchment and furloughs, but they may be unavoidable due to financial considerations, program curtailment, elimination of courses, and other reasons," the release stated.

"When (university) administration asked us to meet to discuss their projected $12 million deficit for 2011-12, I agreed on behalf of the APSCUF Meet and Discuss Team," Drummond said. "However, the management side was not as concerned about the budget or real solutions to the deficit as they were in using the meeting as an opportunity to inform us of possible retrenchment."

Drummond said increasing enrollments and faculty are the only real additional source of generating revenue through tuition dollars, making the idea of layoffs comparable to "killing the goose that lays the golden egg," the release stated.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education -- of which IUP is a member along with 13 other schools -- has been cited as having the lowest tuition increases among state systems since 2005.

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