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Illinois Wesleyan University staff vote to delay layoffs

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BLOOMINGTON (WEEK) - Faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University voted to postpone termination notices to employees affected by the decision to discontinue certain programs earlier this month.

A 111-13 majority voted during a meeting Thursday night for the Council on University Programs and Policy (CUPP) on if the school should wait on sending out the notices. Following the vote, President Georgia Nugent issued a letter to faculty members explaining administrative action going forward.

Nugent states that no faculty members in affected programs will get termination notices for the time being, and that the school will use the month of August to try and develop new positions for some members of the staff.

The letter also states that after August 31, any affected faculty member who has not been placed in a position or accommodated through other "arrangements" will get a termination letter. The handbook says that each terminated faculty member will stay employed at the University for a year after their letter is issued.

No follow-up meeting is scheduled at this time in regards to how the process will be handled.

This comes after a year-long review of academic offerings at the school by the Board of Trustees, announced on July 16. Majors including Anthropology, Religion, and French, and a minor in Italian, have all been selected for removal. The changes won't happen this year, so students currently enrolled in any of these programs can complete their degrees.

The announcement was accompanied by the warning that up to nine faculty positions at the school could be impacted. But in a message sent to the university community, the school made sure to note that an effort would be made to help faculty members find another position at the university.

Several other programs are subject to "transformation," including the School of Art, the School of Music, and the Philosophy department.

Jon Schoenheider

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