Faculty are concerned that pandemic-induced budget changes some research universities are considering may lead them to no longer be vigorous universities, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
It notes that public research universities are facing dwindling budgets due to the pandemic as funds from out-of-state tuition, housing, and athletics have fallen due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. To compensate, it reports that some universities are pushing faculty to retire as well as have had furloughs and layoffs.
In addition, the Chronicle says schools like the University of Colorado at Boulder are considering replacing tenure-track positions with contract instructors. At the same time, schools like the University of Vermont are considering eliminating certain academic departments, such as geology, religion, and classics, it adds. "R1 does not mean only lab science, it does not mean a tech school — it means a robust, complete university," Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, an associate professor of religion at UVM, tells the Chronicle.