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LIU Grappling With Change

BY NOELANI MONTERO

For the first time in 28 years, LIU Brooklyn has undergone major administrative changes. The school’s new President Kimberly Cline is the woman behind these alterations.

Changes such as condensing LIU’s public relations department, flat-rate tuition, and mass firings, students and faculty have become weary of the school’s current situation. Over the 2013 summer, the Brooklyn Campus’ Public Relations Department was condensed. PR matters for both campuses are now being handled from one office located in LIU Post.

Empty cublicles at LIU resulting from offices which were relocated.Photo Credit: Hillary Bebop

Empty cublicles at LIU resulting from offices which were relocated.Photo Credit: Hillary Bebop

Staff from the Brooklyn PR Department was fired. In addition to the many departments being condensed, many employees have also been reassigned.

The number of LIU faculty fired is unclear, according to Edward J. Donahue, the head of the faculty union. Firings have taken place in the Conolly College Dean’s office, Public Relations, Advertisement, Admissions, Registrar, Academic Reinforcement Center, ESL, Secretarial staff and Telephone Services.

“The faculty are completely outraged by it,” he said. “I don’t see how this won’t impact the school negatively as a whole.”

Donahue notes that administrators have not told anyone approximately how many people have been fired from LIU altogether. Only a handful of the higher-ups know the approximate number, he said.

No statements have been distributed by the administration on whether or not the firings are part of a pre-calculated strategy or if they will end soon.

“It’s the total lack of humanity—the lack of a plan. The wholesale dislocation of administrative departments from point A to point B—There may be a plan, but it was never spelt out to the faculty or students,” Donahue explained.

Students are not exempt from these administrative changes. The Graduate Assistance Program (GAP) was cut in the fall of 2013.

On February 22, the Brooklyn Faculty Senate sent President Cline a three page letter hoping she would recognize their concerns. Mainly, the senate called Cline out on communication, collaboration, transparency, planning, failure to raise funds, the elimination of GAP and pay cuts.

“Specifically, we are concerned about the lack of dialogue—or even notice—about major changes, including structural changes reorganization and physical moves, the lack of response to senate resolutions [and] the lack of perspectives of faculty and staff with a long history with the institution,” said the Faculty Senate in a the letter to Cline.

Faculty are also concerned that these mass firings are having a negative affect on students’ and faculties’ overall morale.

“The total lack of communication has just destroyed morale,” explained Donahue. “A good number of people have just left on their own.”

Donahue states that the fear instilled by the impromptu firings will not produce a good outcome for the Brooklyn Campus. The Faculty Senate also criticizes Cline and her actions—stating that these firings are seemingly careless and are hindering the schools good spirits.

“The apparently reckless manner in which the cuts were enacted coupled with an apparent lack of concern for consequences had eroded trust. These firings impede our ability to provide much needed academic support to our students,” according to the letter.

In addition to attempting to brining these concerns to Cline’s attention, the Faculty Senate is also demanding a full account of who has been fired and why. They are still awaiting a response.

Upon reaching out to President Cline to comment on this matter, she noted that the goal of the new administration and her actions are done for the students.

“Some changes were made to serve students better and/or to treat everyone in a fair and equitable manner,” she said.

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Category: News