By Dylan Adams
KU President Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson released a letter on Sept. 15 stating that KU staff and faculty will not be facing the layoffs that were presented as a possibility early in the fall semester.
The original retrenchment possibility was put forth on June 1 and set in place due to financial unknowns in the entering of the fall 2020 semester. The letter states that the previous retrenchment possibility has been revoked as per the stability of the fall semester.
The letter was directed to Dr. Thomas Stewart, Kutztown Chapter President of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties.
The APSCUF is an organization which represents the faculty and coaches within the sphere of Pennsylvania State higher education. Due to the size of APSCUF, the association is separated into 14 different chapters representing each member school, KU included.
Hawkinson stated that none of the four previously established “triggers” set forth by the KU administration have been hit. Hitting one of these triggers would have resulted in the possibility of staff being laid-off for the spring semester.
Hawkinson went on to thank both Stewert and the APSCUF for their leadership and optimism during the challenges that were being presented. He ended the letter with a special thanks to the faculty for the “fortitude and sacrifice” they provided through the spring, summer and fall semesters in the goal of serving the student body in the pursuits towards higher education.
The Keystone reached out to the APSCUF for a statement on Hawkinson’s decision. President Dr. Jamie Martin responded, stating, “We are thrilled the administration decided against retrenchment at Kutztown University. We are looking forward to other universities making similar decisions.”
Emily Campbell, Secretary of the Student Government Board at KU, was asked about her reaction to the letter sent by Hawkinson. Campbell stated that she was glad the retrenchment was being withdrawn, as it solidifies that we are in a stable financial position.
“Should there be an unfortunate need to resume retrenchment, I would hope the university would be able to provide fair and healthy incentives,” Campbell added. “Safety is something I feel the university has considered deeply during these uncertain times, and I am confident that safety would be their top priority.”