Despite Budget Uncertainty, SIU Begins Offering Contracts
Southern Illinois University Carbondale is moving to sign contracts with hundreds of non-tenure track faculty members who've been in limbo for months because of the state's budget crisis.
The term, non-tenure track faculty received letters in May saying they "might" have a job for the 2015-2016 academic year. NTT Faculty Association President Jim Wall says while news of the hiring is good, there are still concerns.
"You know, two or three weeks is not a long time for a faculty member to prepare three or four classes. So not knowing what one is going to teach until the last minute is problematic."
SIU Spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith says the school understands the concerns, but had to wait to see if a state budget resolution could be found.
"We needed to maintain as much flexibility as we could, given the uncertainty of a potential budget cut."
Goldsmith says a budget cut from the state is still a possibility, but how big that cut will be is unknown. She says departments are being told to be cautious, but offer the contracts where necessary.
Faculty and graduate assistants whose programs are funded by state grants are still on hold - including for the Southern Region Early Childhood Program based at SIU.