BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A university president is under fire. Staff and faculty at Coppin State in Baltimore launch allegations of mismanagement.
Adam May reports on growing tension on campus.
Budget problems are costing people at Coppin their jobs unless you’re a high-ranking member of the administration.
Workers at Coppin State University rally on campus, outraged over recent layoffs.
Dorothy Cunningham was head of housekeeping.
“I have a family to take care of and they don’t care what they do to you here,” she said.
President Reginald Avery just eliminated more than two dozen positions, blaming a $5.5 million budget shortfall. WJZ requested an interview with the university president but we were told he was out town at a conference. Instead, he released a statement. It says, “We must do what families, businesses and government institutions across Maryland and the nation are doing, and that is tighten our belt. The recommended cuts, while difficult, are necessary to move us forward.”
“He takes out the customer service reps and student advisors and lays them off. That’s wrong,” said Patrick Moran.
Union leaders say the president seems more interested on his administration. He’s expanded his cabinet from four and a half positions making $700,000 to 10 positions making $1.6 million.
“The big picture is priorities. Are they gonna have the boots on the ground to give students the service and quality education they need or are they gonna give it to bureaucrats who sit around with the president?” Moran said.
Cunningham says it’s not fair.
“It must be mismanagement of funds. To me, if anyone should be laid off, it should be people controlling money, not little staff folks like us,” Cunningham said.
This isn’t the first problem for President Avery. Just a few months ago, teachers also gave him a vote of no confidence.
Coppin State defends the cabinet positions, claiming they are similar to other universities.