Consensus Opinion: Faculty furloughs

It is disappointing that faculty furloughs are to be the new measure taken by the Board of Regents to help with budget shortfall. While understandable that budget saving measures must be taken in the new fiscal year, compromising the quality of education by further taxing the professors is not the most logical course to take.

Our priority at Tech should be to provide the highest quality of instruction to students. If professors feel that their jobs are in jeopardy of furloughs, many professors will focus even more on publishing their research to ensure that they are recognized. While this promotes Tech, extra research by busy professors does not directly improve teaching.

A precarious job situation at Tech will also turn off possible new professors who might otherwise be recruited. Current professors who are furloughed will have less time in the classroom. It is not fair for already tenured professors to be subject to the furlough clause. Although applying furloughs to tenured professors would save the most money, those professors have been tenured for being in the top of their field. Furloughing our best professors would severely diminish the quality of education here at Tech, but furloughing lesser-paid professors saves little money. This creates a paradox in the process.

We are also concerned with the possible legal issues of changing these professors’ contracts after so many years. We hope that they were informed that their contracts were under review and that there is an appeals process for the changes. These important changes should be discussed.

We are glad that President Peterson has said that he does not plan to furlough any professors and hope that this stays true in the upcoming year. If there are furloughs, we expect the process to be conducted with total transparency and concern for the quality of education above budget concerns.

The Consensus Opinion reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board of the Technique, but not necessarily the opinions of individual editors.