SOU faculty union president reacts to reveal of realignment plan

ASHLAND, Ore. – Thursday we learned about jobs at SOU that could be eliminated under the university’s draft realignment plan.

Now, we’re hearing from SOU‘s faculty union president about the expected cuts.

SOU plans to cut 83 jobs, to help reduce a projected $14 million deficit by 2026.

However, this is not the first time the university has gone through a restructuring.

In 2014, around 80 positions were cut.

And a 2006 retrenchment saw the elimination of 24 programs and 22 faculty members.

But this is SOU president Dr. Rick Bailey’s first time at the helm of major change in Ashland.

He said this time will be different because of future revenue generating ideas.

Sara Adams, the president of the Association of Professors Southern Oregon University, said there are still more questions to be answered.

“The union understands the gravity of the financial situation,” she said. “However, we are definitely saddened that our valued colleagues will be losing their livelihoods and I think there’s a lot of fear around how the loss of faculty will affect specific academic programs.”

Adams said the union would like to know what classes with affected professors will look like and how programs can continue to grow after cuts.

She’s also hopeful this restructuring will be more successful long-term than past ones.

Adams tells NBC5 Wednesday’s plan was revealed a month earlier than planned.

The union, students and faculty had requested President Bailey release it in February, instead of March.

That would allow more time for reflection and discussion, before the plan is finalized in April.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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