Tension remains high as candlelight vigil held for dismissed ESU staffers

About 7% of all staff at Emporia State University will receive either a suspension, dismissal...
About 7% of all staff at Emporia State University will receive either a suspension, dismissal or termination notice by Friday - just two days after the vote to approve a new framework policy.
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 2:32 PM CDT
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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - While tension remains high at Emporia State University, a candlelight vigil was held for staff members that were let go.

KVOE reports that staff member dismissals have been completed at Emporia State University, however, tension remains high on the campus.

A candlelight vigil was held at 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19.

Students also protested outside Plumb Hall several times last week and another has tentatively been planned for Wednesday.

Students have expressed their frustration about the university’s narrative of the framework’s focus on students. Some have even considered dropping out due to the situation.

“I don’t think there are any winners in this. Nobody won last week,” an anonymous faculty member told KVOE. “So at this point, we are all just waiting to hear some answers.”

Recently, Emporia State announced plans to seek approval for the Framework for Workforce Management, which was meant to refocus the university’s attention on certain programs - nursing, business, education, library management and information management - while giving it the means to discontinue other programs and let go of staff - including tenured faculty.

On Wednesday last week, the Kansas Board of Regents voted to approve the framework. In the following two days, 33 staff members were notified that they would be dismissed.

KVOE noted that unless staff members are fired for cause, they can work through the academic year and be eligible for three months of severance pay. Affected staffers can also appeal with a process that takes 100 days or longer.

ESU has yet to announce the impacts on departments affected by the cuts, or which programs may be negatively affected due to realignment efforts.

KVOE also indicated that the realignment comes as the ESU Foundation seeks out potential donors so students may work with “outstanding and supportive professors.”