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Seven ESU academic departments spared possible ax

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Oct 25 2013 03:37:45 PM CDT
East Stroudsburg University generic
EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -

Seven academic departments at cash-strapped East Stroudsburg University have been spared possible elimination or faculty reductions, college officials announced Friday.

But the fate of a half dozen others has not yet been decided.

On Friday, ESU announced departments no longer under the threat of elimination, reorganization or faculty reduction are Communication Studies, History, Modern Languages, Political Science, Professional and Secondary Education, Philosophy, and Special Education and Rehabilitation Studies.

Those still being assessed are Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Chemistry, Movement Activities and Lifetime Fitness, Music, Physical Education and Physics.

ESU officials intend to decide what will be done with those departments on or before Wednesday.

An ESU "leadership team" consisting of administrators and faculty members is finalizing what they call a workforce plan. In August, that team identified both academic and non-academic departments considered for evaluation and potential changes

The university's Counseling and Psychological services department  also still is being evaluated.

The reviews are being done  because ESU faces a $6.9 million deficit for 2014-2015.

That is a combination of the $3.3 million from the current year and  $3.6 million of anticipated shortfall, explained Ken Long, vice president for administration and finance.

“Like our faculty counterparts, we remain focused on providing our students with a high quality educational experience and preparing them for careers that are representative of the global workforce," said Dr. Van Reidhead,  ESU provost and vice president for academic affairs, in a news release.

"To do so, we need to close the budget gap by creatively restructuring departments and reducing our overhead in every way possible.

 “Administration and faculty must come at this challenge from a place of mutual respect and trust. I think we stand a much better chance of overcoming these budget challenges if we work together.”