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      UT faculty and staff fed up with layoffs, administrative spending

      Three staff and faculty unions at the University of Toledo are calling for an independent audit of the university.

      The employees say they are fed up with layoffs, cutbacks, shaky job security and low morale and they feel it is mismanagement at the top that is to blame.

      "The only reason tuition is going up and layoffs are occurring is because we have an inept and incompetent administration. They have given themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses at the same time as laying off skilled people with years of experience and dedication," said UT Associate Professor of Sociology Mark Sherry.

      "Those of us losing our jobs are not numbers on a piece of paper. We are real people, dedicated men and women with real-life issues who are trying to pick up the pieces and move on to the next phase of our lives with as much dignity as possible," said Administrative Secretary Carol Schlievert.

      The University of Toledo released this statement:

      "The economic collapse of the last few years has been deeply challenging to organizations and industries across the nation and higher education is no exception.

      "In Pennsylvania, legislators have proposed cutting public higher education subsidies by more than 50 percent. In California, tuition rates have climbed more than 30 percent. From Minnesota to Texas, from coast to coast, and in Ohio, public universities are being called on to do more with less.

      "At The University of Toledo, we have worked hard to strengthen the academic experience, our commitment to research and service, and our delivery of health care despite these challenges. We have wherever possible eliminated positions through attrition. We have avoided laying off professors and instructors since the recession began, and we have moved millions of dollars from backroom functions to the interface between the student and the teacher.

      "The current model of higher education is changing. Communities are calling on universities to be more engaged, to serve as engines of economic, health-care and cultural development while they maintain their commitment to academics and research. The University of Toledo can either embrace this new role and lead they way, or it will find itself forced into the new role with little ability to influence its future. The choice seems clear."

      -- Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs

      D o you think the University of Toledo is doing all it can to continue to provide the best higher education during a time of budget cuts and recession? Leave your comments, below.