Wright State Campus | Photo by Kayli Thompson | The Wright State Guardian
On April 7, the Wright State University (WSU) Board of Trustees held a special meeting, where a resolution was passed allowing faculty to opt for voluntary incentive exit packages during the retrenchment process.
On Nov. 12, WSU announced that they would enact the process of retrenchment among faculty in conjunction with declining enrollment numbers that are expected to persist.
Although both the Board of Trustees and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP-WSU) offered different proposals regarding how to address the issue, President Sue Edwards recommended up to 113 faculty members be cut across multiple colleges at WSU on Feb. 19.
Edwards’ decision was presented to the board following a comprehensive analysis of the individual recommendations provided by the AAUP-WSU, and previous Interim Provost Douglas Leaman. Leaman’s position has since been filled by Oliver Evans as of Feb 22.
“I acknowledge that change is sometimes difficult, but we will succeed by working together,” said Edwards during the Feb. 19 Board of Trustees meeting. “The Dayton region needs a Wright State that they are proud of and one whose graduates are dedicated to making our local communities and the region thrive and grow stronger.”
At the Feb. 19 Board meeting, Edwards made the request for a one-time voluntary incentive package to be offered to faculty within the colleges being impacted by retrenchment. The purpose of the special meeting on April 7 was to then vote on the voluntary exit plans.
“While such a plan is not a required component of retrenchment, the request by President Edwards was seeded in her desire to potentially reduce the total number of 113 faculty positions that would otherwise be retrenched as a part of their deliberations,” Board of Trustees Chair Tom Gunlock said.
The resolution passed unanimously, allowing the university to offer two voluntary incentive exit packages to faculty at risk of being retrenched in the upcoming months. The exit packages include cash payments, temporary healthcare benefits, tuition waivers for close relatives and continued temporary access to various campus facilities.