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Albion College board reviewing recommendations to lay off 15 full-time faculty positions


By RJ Walters / For the Jackson Citizen Patriot

The Albion College Board of Trustees will review recommendations over the next two days for the reduction of 15 full-time faculty positions the board mandated in February.

The reductions, which could include retirements and resignations, are partly in response to declining enrollment at the college, Associate Vice President for Communications Sarah Briggs said.

“The number was arrived at through some careful research about our projected enrollments and bringing our faculty in line with our student enrollment,” she said.

Albion’s 2009-10 enrollment is 1,738, according to the college’s website, down from 1,979 in 2005.

“We need to return to a student-faculty ratio of approximately 13:1, which is what we had as recently as 2001, so that’s how the number 15 was determined,” Briggs said.

The current ratio is 12.6, and Briggs said the administration is aiming for something closer to 13.4:1. Briggs said the ratio is created from a formula that includes both full-time and part-time faculty members.

The college employs 124 full-time and 38-part-time professors.

Senior officers of the college — which includes the president, vice president and provost — will join the Board of Trustees at a retreat today and Friday when Briggs said they will go over recommendations that include input from both the faculty and administration.

Several current faculty members declined to comment on the retreat.

The Faculty Steering Committee represents the faculty in this matter, and Chairman Thomas Whilch, a Herbert H. & Grace A. Dow Trustees’ professor in the sciences, said he is not talking to the media prior to the retreat because he is waiting to see what comes of the meetings.

Briggs said the impact these decisions will have on the lives of many is not lost on the administration.

“We certainly are doing our best to minimize the impact of these decisions on our students, and we’ve tried to make that very clear and we’re aware of the impact this could have on the affected faculty members,” Briggs said.

Briggs said the college plans to disseminate information on the final outcomes of the retreat as early as this weekend or the beginning of next week.

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About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.

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