Budget cuts affect faculty and staff members
By Albert Shelby
April 1, 2012
In this year alone, Western has 35 vacant jobs that will be hard to fill due to the university’s recent budget cuts. For the past three years, budget cuts have been the main cause of teaching positions that remain empty.
President Vartabedian feels that due to budget cuts, certain teaching jobs that are open have become even harder to fill because of Western not being able to afford the type of salaries that some teachers may deserve.
Some professors even have to fill in other positions that they normally do not teach just to keep things in order.
“We’re doing the best we can,” Vartabedian said. “But unfortunately given the budget crisis, we haven’t been able to fill the positions like we would normally want to.”
Adjunct professor Rosetta Ballew-Jennings recently voiced her opinion about the salaries of adjunct professors and how she feels that her salary is extremely low compared to other teachers on campus.
Vartabedian agreed with Jennings and stated that he wishes that they were able to pay adjunct professors more, but recent cuts from the school have also made that a problem.
“It’s true,” Vartabedian said. “The adjunct faculty members are not compensated what they are worth. They are worth a lot more but it’s just a matter of finances.”
Dean of Craig School of Business Phillip Nitse feels that the budget cuts cause problems to the business program because it keeps them from being able to fill certain positions. It has even become harder to give raises to professors that currently hold positions in the program.
“There are folks that turn us down once they find out what we are paying,” Nitse said. “People that are coming in are starting out at a low salary, and that means we have to compete with a lot schools that are paying more.”
Western has recently parted ways with former Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Esther Peralez, and her position has not yet been filled.
Dr. Jeanne Daffron is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and she feels that until the budget is determined, it will be hard to fill that position. Nothing has been decided yet, and there are still too many unknowns to make any type of decisions at this point.
“It’s really tough right now,” Daffron said. “We are trying hard to adjust to the budget, instead of eliminating other people jobs.”
Daffron stated that she hopes that the budget cuts do not affect professors that have a long history here at Western. She feels that this is something that is happening all over the country. However, she hopes it never has to get to that point here on campus.
“We are truly working hard to keep the budget cuts from having a negative impact on are faculty and staff,” Daffron said. “It is something we worry about because it is important to keep a good staff here. But we are trying very hard to adjust that.”