Drury University in Springfield has confirmed it will not renew the contracts for five faculty members next school year and another seven the following year. In addition, three tenure-track faculty members will be reassigned to other university roles.
It says the dozen cuts are a result in overall enrollment decline in Drury’s traditional undergraduate day school. University Spokesman Mike Brothers says there were 1,454 students in fall 2014 compared to 1,315 this fall.
According to a statement, the affected faculty members were notified of the change on Sept. 25.
It reads, “Each will continue teaching at Drury for the remainder of their contract, which, in most cases, runs through May 2017. Of the five whose contracts will not be renewed after May 2016, none are tenure track. Three of those are part time. Two are full time.”
As for the seven whose contracts will not be renewed in 2017, Drury says all are full-time, some are tenure track but none are tenured. The school currently has 132 full time faculty, five part-time faculty and 18 adjuncts teaching in the day school.
The academic programs impacted by the decision come from architecture, arts administration, education, music, philosophy and languages.
The affected faculty members will be provided support services to assist in securing new positions.
“Our faculty are Drury University’s most valued resource,” Drury President Dr. David Manuel said in a statement. “These are decisions that are not taken lightly and not made in haste. These decisions are not pleasant, but they are necessary, and we will support those affected as we move through the process.”
The school adds that the changes will also enable the university to invest more aggressively in existing faculty and staff, and offer more opportunities for growth and professional development. Drury notes that no programs are being cut.