Tuesday, November 26, 2013

University Layoffs on the Way?, by Melissa Koch

UW-L Legislative Liaison Joe Heim predicts that layoffs directed toward younger, more recently employed professors will follow the tuition freeze currently occurring  at all UW schools.

Heim has worked with legislative issues at UW-L for about 15 years now and has seen this happen before. He says the results of the tuition freeze will be “painful.” The freeze will reduce surplus funds for a year or two.  After the initial effects, universities will begin to suffer and layoffs will occur.  Layoffs are likely to affect young professors recently out of school. Many older professors have tenure or other security with the universities.

It was discovered that the UW system as a whole set aside 648 million dollars at the end of 2012 year.  Universities set aside money in case of emergencies.  According to Heim, 10-15 percent of money at UW-L is put aside.  A bill passed in the summer of 2013 froze university tuitions.  Legislators believed that if tuitions had much surplus, it didn’t make sense to continue to increase the cost students pay.

Some of the university’s money is "segregated." It can’t be spent on anything other than what it is designated to. The money that students pay for school parking lots, for example, goes to the funding it took to build the parking structure and cannot be re-allocated to salaries or anything else.