- Faculty members at San Francisco State University say a new administration at the school is making widespread changes to teaching exemptions and benefits given to them as incentives to leave their previous institutions, an effort many call a breach of contract between faculty members and the university.
- Inside Higher Ed reports increased teaching loads and backtracking on sabbatical agreements have roiled faculty members who were recruited from other institutions on these specific conditions, and university officials have been less than flexible with compromising on solutions.
- University officials say all complaints are being handled individually, and in most cases are the result of reduced public support to the institution in recent years.
It is understandable why university administrators would want to cut costs without furloughing or terminating positions by asking faculty to do more, but the final cost may not be worth the net savings. Faculty suing, the public relations cost of not being able to recruit more good instructors, and the potential for distrust and public protest from students in support of their professors does not make for a collegial environment or the best public display of leadership.
It is incumbent upon new campus leaders to carefully examine tenure and research agreements when arriving to a campus to determine what costs are involved and how to best navigate around the financial and social potential for the institution if dramatic changes are made too fast.