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Delta State: No plans to cut tenured faculty

CLEVELAND — The Delta State University Budget Committee (UBC) has released the findings and recommendations of its academic review to members of the president’s cabinet and the academic council.

The nearly 100-page document is the culmination of an in-depth, year-long examination process.

The UBC was formed in Aug. 2008 following the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the Institutions of Higher Learning approval of a plan to re-allocate state appropriated funds for the state’s eight public universities. Although the “funding formula” plan was put on hold, the committee had to begin dealing with the state’s budget situation as decreases spilled over onto all state agencies.

The committee was charged with developing strategies aimed at increasing revenues and reducing costs, identifying inefficiencies, enhancing administrative and academic productivity and maximizing credit hour generation in order to minimize the impact of budget reductions on Delta State University.

The academic review process began in the fall of 2009. The committee examined every academic unit before presenting its preliminary findings to the department heads in early June. Each unit had 30 days to review the preliminary findings and submit a response. The committee took all responses into consideration before drafting its final report.

One area of concern has been the possibility of the termination of tenured faculty. By contract, Delta State must give tenured or tenure-track faculty one year’s notice before terminating them. According to Delta State president John Hilpert, no such notices will be given for academic year 2011-12.

“The University Budget Committee has provided recommendations on several academic programs that the provost and I will have to review,” said Hilpert. “While there are several program decisions that still need to be made, I am pleased to report that no tenured nor tenure-track faculty will receive notice of termination in September.”

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