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UE Realignment Vote Friday

Steve Burger

After a three month long, sometimes controversial process, University of Evansville trustees will vote Friday on an institutional realignment plan that administrators say will keep the school financially stable for years to come. 

WNIN's Steve Burger talked with UE President Christopher M. Pietruszkiewicz about the institutional realignment plan that will be presented to the Board of Trustees.

The entire realignment planfor UE is complex. Here are a few highlights.

  • No tenured faculty positions will be eliminated, but nineteen faculty chose the voluntary separation option. Three faculty have agreed to phased retirements.
  • Three academic majors will be eliminated, down from eighteen in the original proposal. Those being eliminated: Art History, Philosophy and Religion.  Three majors- Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Software Engineering will pause in admissions of new freshman for one year as potential options for redesigning these majors are evaluated. 
  • UE athletics will remain in the NCAA’s Division One, but there will be changes in the golf, swimming and track programs. There will also be changes to the room and board policy for athletic scholarship recipients.
  • For the administration, a dozen positions are eliminated under the plan, five of which are already vacant. UE will also phase out a contribution to an employee retirement plan.

The total savings from the cuts will be $3.8 million a year.
UE President Christopher Pietruszkiewicz acknowledged the controversy around the realignment process, but the administration in the end showed its willingness to change the original proposal.

“It changed a lot because we were listening. We listened to our faculty, we listened to our staff, our students and the community.”

Pietruszkiewicz said the cuts will create a sustainable financial picture for the university for many years.

In a statement, the UE chapter of the American Association of University Professors said the realignment process has damaged student recruitment and retention and that, “For the university to survive, it must end its ongoing cycle in which faculty reductions lead to enrollment reductions which in turn lead to faculty reductions.”   

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