When students return to class at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village later this month, they’ll notice that some of their favorite instructors are no longer at the school.
Six of Sierra Nevada College’s faculty members were let go on July 13 in a controversial decision that came weeks before the start of the academic year.
School administrators say the layoffs were necessary to deal with decreased enrollment, but some people are questioning those motives since several of the faculty members who were let go had recently voiced concerns with the way the university is being run.
“In higher ed, and I’d say this has been true for years, there’s been increasing pressure on smaller, private liberal arts colleges around the country, especially schools like SNC that have smaller endowments and are highly tuition dependent,” said Sierra Nevada College President Alan Walker, who holds a doctorate in Higher Education Policy Administration.
“It’s a mix of a couple of issues, one is the changing demographic of high schools around the county … The other one is the increased focus that society has, that the government has, on the return on investment of education … particularly as families and students take on more debt,” he said.
Walker said that over the last several years, enrollment changes have forced them to adjust their expenses, and they wanted to avoid additional tuition increases.
Recommended Stories For You
“We did a five-year analysis and looked at enrollment in the various majors,” Walker said. “It was a data-driven decision, not a political one.”
The dismissed faculty members were: Samantha Bankston, faculty council chair and an associate professor who…
click here to read more.