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Adrian College rescinds layoff notices, department cuts

Leaders reverse course after eliminations were announced last week
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 5:45 PM EDT
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ADRIAN, Mich. (WTVG) - An overwhelming amount of support for the arts and humanities at Adrian College from alumni and professors may have just saved multiple departments on campus.

Back on August 27, an online Facebook group known as the Asa Mahan Squad rallied together demanding answers from the board and an explanation regarding the elimination of the History, Theatre, Philosophy & Religion, and Japanese departments at the school.

According to a letter sent by Vice President of Business Affairs Jerry Wright, the departments were proposed to be eliminated by the start of the 2021-2022 academic year. This was announced back in February 2020, prior to COVID-19 budget concerns.

Representatives from the Adrian College Association of Professors released a statement, claiming over the summer seven additional full-time faculty members had been laid off, with no indication their positions or departments were in jeopardy before receiving their notices of termination.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Jeffrey R. Docking, the President of Adrian College released another update on the issue:

Over the past three or four days I’ve received a significant amount of feedback from alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of the College about our decision to potentially eliminate a number of academic departments at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 academic year. This input overwhelmingly supported the continuation of the majors and minors in these departments and the need to keep the liberal arts at the center of all we do as an institution.

With all of this in mind, earlier today I asked Vice President Wright to notify the faculty in these departments that the layoff notices that we sent to them on August 21, 2020 are rescinded and we will look for other ways to manage the budget in the year ahead.

I apologize for the disruption that our decision caused this community and I trust that we will all work together to create a stronger College that will serve the needs and interests of our students for many more years to come.

Jeffrey R. Docking, Adrian College President

This is a developing story.

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