Arts and sciences faculty at Brandeis University have discussed taking a 1 percent pay cut to prevent two to three projected layoffs resulting from a 2009 fiscal year budget shortfall, the Justice, the school's student newspaper, reports.
The proposal would go forward only if 30 percent of the faculty agrees to the pay cut. Even then, it would be administered only on a volunteer basis. Faculty members could also make a charitable donation to a corresponding fund.
The chair of the faculty senate and the president of the university have already volunteered for the pay cut, and a vocal portion of the attendees at a December 4 faculty meeting supported the plan. "This is my 23rd year [at Brandeis], and this is unlike any faculty meeting I've been at," one professor, Marc Brettler, said. "I would not be able to live with myself if someone I know was laid off and I could have prevented it," John Burt, an English professor, added.
The pay-cut plan is a temporary proposal, and the school is expecting an equally trying time next year. Regardless, the faculty senate chair wrote to the group: "A lot of us think this proposal is essentially a Band-Aid. Still, Band-Aids help stanch bleeding, and Band-Aids are all the faculty really has."