“Extremely tense” is how Saint Joseph’s College History Professor Susan Chattin describes the relationship between faculty and administrators as the college’s deadline to suspend operations draws closer.
Chattin is one of six tenured faculty members who have filed suit against the college, claiming administrators violated their own contracts and policies governing faculty layoffs.
The suit contends the privately-owned Rensselaer college promised at least one year of severance pay, access to retirement and benefits plans, and help finding a new job.
But subsequent to Saint Joseph’s February announcement that operations would cease because the college can’t pay its bills, Chattin says tenured faculty still haven’t been told their last day of employment or the amount of severance pay and benefits they’re set to receive.
“That’s one of the reasons we did the lawsuit is we can’t get answers. We’re very frustrated. I personally feel a sense of betrayal by the administrators. That we’re not being given more information and help in more concrete ways.”
She says some professors are teaching additional, condensed courses to ensure students have the required credits to graduate on time.