KEARNEY – UNK will eliminate six faculty positions following two years of analysis and input on the allocation of faculty at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Chancellor Doug Kristensen made the announcement to campus today.
As a result of the process, four people who will be terminated in 2024 have been notified now so they have over a year and a half to seek other employment. The four faculty may continue in their positions until May 2024. Two additional unfilled faculty lines are also being eliminated, bringing the total reduction to six faculty positions. All are in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The four faculty impacted will be offered opportunities to be placed in open positions for which they may be qualified.
Chancellor Kristensen informed the campus community today via email:
“UNK has for decades prioritized academic quality, and that begins with our faculty. We value the people who deliver on the educational promise of the institution. But UNK is not immune from long-term trends in higher-education enrollment, and sustaining the size of our faculty is no longer feasible. As a matter of good management, we made the decision three years ago to undertake a review of instructional staffing.
In November 2020, I formed a Faculty Advisory Committee to recommend metrics and indicators for administration to use in evaluating instructional staffing in programs and departments at UNK. That group provided a memo to me in February 2021, which identified metrics such as student credit hour production, number of majors, and number of graduates from the program. We held two open campus meetings to explain the need and the process for reviewing instructional staffing loads. Campus feedback was solicited and reviewed.
The senior vice chancellor consulted with the deans over the past two years and developed initial recommendations. Those were reviewed in early AY 2022-23, and decisions have been finalized.
UNK will eliminate four faculty positions. The people in positions that will be terminated have been notified on Tuesday, Dec. 13. These individuals may continue in their positions until May 2024. Two additional unfilled faculty lines are also being eliminated, bringing the total reduction to six faculty lines. All are in the College of Arts and Sciences, UNK’s largest college.
Tenured faculty have a two-year period of recall rights, and each individual will be considered for openings on campus as appropriate in light of their qualifications.
It’s never easy to have news that positions – people – are affected in these types of situations. Their work has been meaningful in the life of students and this institution. Thank you for all that you do to keep UNK great, including your thoughtful involvement in this process.”