ST. CLOUD (WJON News) - A group of students, faculty, and community members are speaking out against planned cuts at St. Cloud State University.

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Earlier this spring, SCSU announced a series of staff and program cuts that will result in the elimination of 83 academic programs and 100 faculty and staff jobs by 2028.

Jennifer Chernega leads the Minnesota Inter-Faculty Organization. She claims the university’s financial problems are a result of poor leadership.

St. Cloud State’s more dramatic enrollment declines and enormous budget deficit is a real failure of their administration, and it's been a failure of their administration for the duration of President Wacker’s career. To be honest, it's not the faculty's fault that there's an enrollment decline, and yet she is solving this problem by eliminating faculty.

The “Save SCSU” group says they’re working toward a university that values students, staff, and faculty.

Specifically, they’re questioning the role of Online Program Management, or O.P.M. companies that provide online programs to SCSU. The group claims the seven-year, $32 million agreement with Academic Partnerships will include 50 percent of tuition dollars from academic programs.

The Department of Education has launched a series of listening sessions into the practices of these companies. They have been portrayed as predatory both on institutions that are struggling, and on students from marginalized communities who think they're registering for high quality programs from universities with well known names. And instead, they get a different version of that program.

“Save SCSU” says they’re working toward a St. Cloud State University that values students, faculty, and staff. They intend to push leaders of SCSU to reengage with the community and place the focus of the university back on the mission positively transforming students and the community.


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