Central Michigan University has made 151 regular faculty hires for the 2013-14 school year, including 26 new full-time faculty positions.
The news comes despite the projected on-campus undergraduate enrollment decline of 5 to 7 percent this fall compared to last fall.
In addition to the newly-created positions, 47 new, full-time faculty members have been brought on as replacements. The other 79 remaining positions are fixed-term faculty.
According to Ann Miller, director of faculty employment and compensation, there has been an unusually high amount of new hires this year.
“(The amount of new hires) is unusually high due to the addition of 26 new regular faculty positions – including two in athletics – because two new sports were added, and two dozen in specific disciplines and programs identified as university priority areas, including ten in the College of Medicine,” Miller said.
A breakdown of the numbers showed the College of Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences receiving the most new hires, with 28 new names in the department. In total, 115 of the positions are full-time and 36 are part-time.
Despite a large number of new hires, low enrollment, paired with an $18-million budget deficit, is still expected to cause problems for numerous departments.
“Unfortunately, (enrollment) did have an impact on some fixed-term faculty in departments that had decreased student enrollment,” Miller said. ”Other returning fixed-term faculty might have lighter workloads and appointments than they had in the prior academic year or did not receive a new appointment for the fall semester.”
During a meeting with Central Michigan Life’s editorial staff, University President George Ross could not offer specifics regarding which departments or positions would be directly affected by the budget deficit.
“Within the next few weeks, we’ll issue a set of general guidelines for the campus on debt reduction, which will expect the dean and administrators to work through this semester and present to me in the beginning of spring semester recommendations,” he said. “Those recommendations will be shared and worked along with the budget priorities committee, so I couldn’t tell you at this point.”
Ross expects details to become available in September.
“Again, those reductions, as far as base reductions, are going to happen for Sept. 14 and 15 of this school year,” he said. “We’re using one-time rainy day funds for this year, for the most part.”
This year represents a four-year high for new hires at CMU. In the past three years, the university has not previously exceeded 133 new hires. However, the number of new hires have been on an upward trend since 2010.
University Editor Kyle Kaminski contributed to this article.