TOPEKA (KSNT) – Just one day after Emporia State University is given the authority to fire any university employee, many educators tell us they’ve already been handed their walking papers.

Staff tell 27 News they feel betrayed by what’s happening at ESU.

“I spent 20 of the last 33 years of my life preparing to be an excellent scholar and an excellent teacher,” Dr. Douglas Allen said. “I finally got what every person who goes through this process’s dream job – which is a tenure track job, and its been taken from me. Through a process that is unfair, completely vague and belies any trust between the faculty and the admin.” 

Allen teaches geography and general education courses at ESU. His dream job of educating others at the collegiate level will come to an abrupt end with the close of the upcoming spring semester.

“We had commitments made to us, we uprooted our families,” Allen said. “Myself, I moved from the US South halfway across the country to be here and teach for these university students, and this feels like a betrayal.

According to ESU’s President Ken Hush, 7% of the staff could be eliminated. Sources inside the university said there have been cuts to multiple departments, including English, Modern Language and Journalism.

“This is a broader problem that is going to be happening at a lot of universities,” Allen said. “And our university is essentially the vanguard of doing it incorrectly.”

The assistant professor has one final message for Emporia State admin.

“I would tell the university it’s not too late to do the right thing,” Allen said. “There are real peoples lives that you’re messing with. It’s not too late to do the right thing.” 

The ESU Faculty Senate says they had little or no input on the policy leading to staff elimination – which they only received last week. It’s not just new hires like Allen losing their jobs either. Staff members who’ve worked at Emporia for decades tell 27 News they’ve also been let go.