Sunday, March 9 2014 10:54 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:54:31 GMT
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BOWLING GREEN, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Friday was a day of protest at Bowling Green State University, not by students, but by unionized faculty members.
They're upset over a plan to terminate the contracts of 40 full-time faculty members in May.
It was a silent protest. More than 100 faculty members attended a BGSU Board of Trustees meeting, many carrying signs, to show their solidarity.
University officials says the cuts are necessary to eliminate a budget shortfall of $3 to $10 million over the next two to three years.
"We've had an economist examine a year's worth of BGSU financial statements and the university is in fine financial health," said David Jackson with the BGSU Faculty Association.
Jackson says 73 faculty were cut last year. Add another 40 and he says students will suffer because there will be fewer classes from which to choose.
"The classes that they have will be larger and more likely to be taught by a part-time faculty member who will not even spend the time to get to know them," said Jackson.
BGSU officials say staffing needs are always being monitored based on enrollment.
Faculty members have received raises in recent years, but there's also concern about keeping tuition costs affordable for students.
"Every university needs to make sure they are constantly focused on 'How do we make sure we have a high-quality education, but do it as effective as possible so we can limit tuition increases?'" according to Rodney Rogers, senior vice president of BGSU Academic Affairs.
Meanwhile, the faculty union is examining the legality of the terminations within the parameters of the recently signed collective bargaining agreement.