Editorial: We demand more transparency
On the morning of Monday, Dec. 16, more than 40 faculty and staff members anxiously waited in line, some for up to 10 hours, to elect themselves into the university's voluntary severance program.
Our much loved professors and staff camped in the corridors of Mercy Hall under the impression that if they were too far back in line, they would lose their opportunity. In the end, 100 percent of the applicants were accepted, and there was room for even more. In other words, there was no need for the sleepless nights spent on campus by people over the age of 55.
We believe that this situation was instigated by the informational package, sent to the faculty and staff members eligible for the program, which said, "Participation in the program is not guaranteed. For each category of eligible employees, once the Program's dollar cap is reached, no further participants will be admitted to the program, even if they so elected."
Considering the university's budget crisis reached national news this past summer, it is not surprising that the opportunity prompted those eligible to adhere to the first-come-first-serve condition- almost too literally.
The result of the severance program left students and other uninvolved parties scratching their heads. Why were faculty and staff members allowed to camp over night, meanwhile the demand for the program was not as highly anticipated? The Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., Wildes expressed that it was best legal practice to determine those elected on a first-come-first-serve basis.
We agree that the best way to have determined those elected into the program was through this non-discriminatory method the University followed.
We also believe, however, that the process lacked sufficient transparency for those involved. Wildes did not express his willingness to propose a larger cap to the severance pay available- not until the rush for the program was already over.
As of now, students and non-participants in the program have not been given the names or departments that have been elected to leave.
The university has declined to release the names of those who have accepted the program as a means to respect the privacy of these individuals.
All things considered, we still believe the university should not lose sight of how measures taken such as this one will affect it's students. The deficit Loyola is facing is also very public and it is safe to assume that cutting back will be difficult to swallow.
We call for students to demand more transparency in the steps the university is taking to address the budget crisis. The information we need is not being said while the process is on going. It seems to us that information is only coming after the fact.
We also want to take a step back from the legality of the processes to thank the faculty and staff who accepted the severance program for all they've dedicated to Loyola and its students. We will miss you.
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