EMPORIA (KSNT) – Educators are not only worried for the livelihood of their families, but also the quality of education at the university following their unplanned departure.
“I asked them what grounds did they make these decisions, and they didn’t give me a grounds,” ESU Professor of History Christopher Lovett said. “I said how can you do this to me I’ve been here for 26 years, I’ve taught courses without compensation. I have a CV worth 26 pages long, I’ve done everything possible for this university. They said are you finished? And that was it.”
On September 16th, 33 faculty members were placed on termination…from educators that have only been on the job this semester, to those that have worked at the university for decades, and those that have moved their families across the country for what they believed was a stable position.
“I just couldn’t believe they were gonna do this,” Lovett said. “I never envisioned this in my wildest dreams. I never thought my career would end like this. I thought I would be at Emporia State forever.”
With the termination of 30+ staff members, the college has started suspending academic programs.
“Parents and students should be very concerned, because they’re going after quality of education,” Lovett said. “They’re terminating programs – History, English, Journalism, even Debate. Debate is better known at Emporia State than the football program, it’s been around for 143 years, and that program is gone.”
With the workload of Emporia professors, even compared to other Kansas universities, every termination means devastation for class schedules.
“Unlike KU and K-state,” Lovett said, “Emporia State, Pitt State, and Fort Hays – their teaching load is 4 courses per semester. Many of my colleagues, particularly those that have been terminated like myself have done more than 12 hours. I’ve gone as many as 21, the equivalent of 7 courses. That’s about a year and a half of what they would do at KU.”
The suspension of tenure educators has caught the attention of the American Association of University Professors, who are opening a case against the university.
Additionally, staff have a month to appeal the decision for termination. That appeal must be sent to President Hush and the Kansas Board of Regents by the 17th.