U of M-Flint Cuts 41% of Lecturers; Blames Financial Problems
Unfortunately, this is likely going to be the "norm" for a lot of places in the coming year.
The University of Michigan-Flint has cut 41% of its lecturers, according to a press release from spokesperson Jennifer Hogan. The school is facing an $8.4 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. In the coming calendar year, they could lose anywhere between $400 million and $1 billion.
This isn't just because of COVID-19, which the university is quick to point out - in the last five years, enrollment (both part-and-full time) has dropped by 16% in a steady decline. Unfortunately, the global pandemic has exacerbated their previous losses.
Half of those employees who are involved were laid-off completely; the other half are still working but are seeing a decreased workload, which is leading to a loss of benefits to many.
As far as the other University of Michigan campuses, Ann Arbor and Dearborn both laid off between 8% and 12% of their lecturers so, needless to say, Flint's loss is very disproportionate to the other campuses.
The Lecturers’ Employee Organization Union President Ian Robinson told the Detroit Free Press that he suggested bringing down administrators' salaries instead of cutting so many positions, saying that the disparity is "egregious."
Here's my question - how do we come back from this? What's the alternative? It's very clear that most schools and large companies couldn't survive a few months of decreased productivity and business with the COVID-19 outbreak, so what comes next?
People want to work. Most of us have to work. So where are the jobs that will replace those lost?