SOJC announces 2017-18 budget plan; faculty cuts account for $400,000

Dean of the School of Journalism and Communication Juan-Carlos Molleda has finalized the plan to balance the school’s budget.

The SOJC has been working with the Office of Provost and Academic Affairs to balance its budget, according to an email sent by the dean to students on Wednesday. The school has to reduce its general operating expenses by $1.9 million by Fiscal Year 2020. The efforts Molleda presented will save approximately $500,000. The Office of the Provost is providing $800,000 to the school in the interim.

Approximately 93 percent of the school’s budget is related to labor costs, the email said. Molleda acknowledged the difficulty in balancing a budget that is centered around instructors so he is attempting to minimize “nonrenewals,” or professors whose contracts were not renewed for the coming year.

In the proposal, the three master’s programs the SOJC offers will be expanded by hiring a graduate recruitment manager with funds from donors. The manager will be responsible for increasing enrollment in the programs, which the budget estimates will provide $100,000 for the school.

A total of 11 positions will be cut from the teaching ranks, mostly from part-time instructors. Cuts will made to campuses both in Eugene and Portland. This includes the five instructors who were cut before May 1.

Eugene will lose one career non-tenure track faculty member — the term used to refer NTTF members in the collective bargaining agreement — and three temporary NTTF members. Portland will lose one career NTTF member and two temporary NTTF members.

Four full-time positions will be cut as well – one postdoctoral fellow, two visiting assistant professors and one career NTTF position.

In addition to the cuts, one position vacated by a retiring part-time NTTF member will not be refilled and the workloads of two other NTTF members will be reduced. The savings on these nonrenewals will total approximately $400,000.

While NTTF instructors will have workloads decreased, professors will have more on their plate. “Professors of practice” will have to teach six courses a year, up from five, and career NTTF members will be required to teach eight courses, up from six.

Cuts in non-academic areas are part of the plan as well. The SOJC has eliminated two positions from its business office by creating a shared business center with the College of Design, according to the memo. Staff attrition and reduced services are other areas Molleda said the SOJC would address moving forward.

Molleda wrote that “SOJC expenditures have grown more than 50 percent since 2013.” Schools across campus are struggling with increasing expenditures and decreased enrollment but the SOJC has “outpaced all that of all the other schools,” he wrote. The SOJC has spent more than its budget allocation for the last two years, according to the email.

As part of the budget setting process, the school has also identified courses with low enrollment. Those classes will have some sections cut beginning in fall 2017.


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Max Thornberry

Max Thornberry

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