The Herald Bulletin

August 9, 2013

Purdue Calumet taking more steps to cut faculty


The Associated Press

HAMMOND, Ind. — Purdue University Calumet's chancellor said Thursday that the school will lay off seven more tenure-track faculty members and is offering early retirement packages in addition to bigger cuts it already was planning because of declining enrollment.

Chancellor Thomas Keon announced the new cuts at a faculty meeting. The school said in April that it planned to cut 50 tenure-track positions by the end of next year.

The school is notifying the seven faculty members that their contracts won't be renewed once they expire in a year or two, campus spokesman Wes Lukoshus said.

Twelve faculty members already have committed to taking the early retirement package that's available to eligible professors through Sunday, the day before a new contract year begins for about 250 tenured and tenure-track faculty on the Hammond campus, Lokushus said.

Keon told faculty members the early retirement offer and layoffs were introduced in response to continued enrollment declines, with emphasis in targeted academic areas in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics; the Department of Chemistry and Physics; and Department of Construction Science and Organizational Leadership, The (Munster) Times reported.

Keon said the campus has cash reserves and will be able to continue for this 2013-14 school year. He said the plans are being put in place for the following year and the future.

Keon said the campus will invest more into its web site to attract students and better compete with universities across Indiana. Keon said expanding its athletic program has helped the campus attract students, and he said the College of Education and the College of Nursing both continue to grow.

"We're going through enormous change," Keon said. "... While we are going through this pain, we'll take the corrective steps and be a better institution."