Chesterton Tribune



Purdue Calumet chancellor to discuss budget woes

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HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) Purdue University Calumet's chancellor plans to discuss the campus' budget crisis and plans to cut 50 academic-related positions during a town hall-style meeting with staff.

Chancellor Tom Keon's Thursday address to university staff will be followed by further actions in the coming weeks to deal with the school's $3 million revenue shortfall.

University spokesman Wes Lukoshus told the Journal and Courier that a projected 7 percent enrollment gap this fall prompted the school to consider layoffs of tenure-track faculty and staff.

The Hammond campus announced in April that it would cut 50 tenure-track faculty and staff over the 18 months to make up for its enrollment shortage.

"We, right now, are kind of weighing our options," Lukoshus said. "... Nothing's been determined or finalized."

Purdue Calumet has about 250 tenured and tenure-track faculty. Tenure-track faculty are considered assistant professors.

The cuts are anticipated to affect both academic and nonacademic staff in roughly equal numbers

School administrators say the lower enrollment rates are due in part to increasing numbers of incoming freshmen who've already satisfied general education requirements through high school dual-credit courses.

Lukoshus said that as more high school students with dual-credit class experience enroll at Purdue Calumet, the number of credit hours that incoming students sign up for declines.

"We're sensing that there's a strong relationship there," he said.

As word spread of possible cuts in Calumet's tenure-track faculty, some in the Purdue community said they worry that Purdue Calumet's actions could set a precedent as Purdue looks to trim expenses.

"Where does this stop? Is it just Purdue Calumet? What other campuses are in the same situation?" asked West Lafayette-based Marcus Rogers, a cyberforensics professor who is president of Purdue's chapter of the American Association of University Professors.



Posted 8/7/2013