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Save the UO Librarians

You’d think the first thing a university would cut during a budget crisis would be some of its money-losing sports – starting with say baseball.

Not at UO, where the administration is cutting the librarians. A snippet from the well documented website they’ve put together in response, here:

Like many colleges and universities, the University of Oregon is anticipating a potential budgetary shortfall as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to expected cuts to the university’s state funding and a projected drop in enrollment for fall term. Without yet having any reliable data on the status of either funding stream, UO has opted to preemptively cut costs by targeting 211 Career non-tenure-track faculty whose contracts happened to be up for renewal this spring; these faculty have had their FTE for the 2020-21 academic year cut in half, and have received 1-year contracts in lieu of the 2- or 3-year contracts they would normally expect.

Among those 211 faculty who are bearing the brunt of the university’s savings plan are 14 faculty librarians who have received notice that their positions will be reduced from full-time to 0.55 FTE. Another 5 librarians who were up for promotion this year faced the choice between receiving a similar reduction in FTE with their new contracts upon promotion, or pulling their promotion applications to retain their full FTE under their current contracts.


  1. just peachy 06/09/2020

    Library faculty teach full accredited courses. They negotiate contracts for access to unique scholarly resources. Cataloging sounds old fashioned, but without it, you cannot find stuff. Librarians working less than halftime will impact faculty scholarship, and student research is going to be negatively impacted. I do not understand how an AAU research university has made this decision. Well, I do — but it’s stupid.

  2. Anon 06/09/2020

    Schill should be defunding his police, not our librarians.

  3. New Year Cat 06/09/2020

    In the Libraries, there is little to no overlap among positions for either staff or faculty, because they are understaffed and have been for decades. Some people do the same kinds of things, but really all are needed and a gap is felt when someone leaves. An OA who helped provide access to digital resources just retired; I imagine the few other team members will valiantly try to cover.

    The Libraries pivoted really quickly to support remote work for spring term, yet there was a recent survey asking what UO function or department was crucial which did not even mention the Libraries!

    The random way in which across campus some are spared and some are shafted is so very offensive, not to mention the slap in the face for those with possible promotion. I would like to see every upper administrator and coach take a salary cut so they are paid no higher than the highest UO research or teaching TTF. Say $200,000 or so? If you can’t live on that in Eugene there is something wrong with you. That would show actual shared sacrifice, and a care for the institution and for the wonderful faculty, staff, and OAs across campus who do the hard work on the ground to keep UO moving forward, students engaged, and faculty able to be productive. I have yet to understand what true value the exploding number of vice- this, that, and the other title bring to that table.

    • charlie 06/09/2020

      Sorry, I mistakenly junked your post. Your points are outstanding….

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