Community colleges in Washington State could soon be able to lay off tenured faculty members much faster than normal, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
At its regularly scheduled meeting next month, the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges will decide whether to declare a financial emergency — a move allowed by a state law passed in 1981 to deal with budget crunches. Such an emergency would speed up the process for laying off tenured faculty members in that they would get only 60 days’ notice of layoffs and the grounds on which they could appeal the decision would be limited, the Post-Intelligencer reported.
Washington lawmakers have cut appropriations to the state’s 34 community and technical colleges by 10.7 percent in the 2009-10 operating budget. And because of that, the statewide association of community-college presidents asked the board to invoke the law.
Sandra Schroeder, president of the American Federation of Teachers’ union in Washington, told the Post-Intelligencer that most community-college presidents had let her know that they did not plan to use the law, but there is still the threat that they would have “additional leverage that they didn’t already have” when it comes to laying off tenured faculty members.
—Audrey Williams June, for the Chronicle of Higher Education.