Amid controversy surrounding University of Akron's recent cutbacks, the university announced Tuesday that it will begin the hiring process for 55 new full-time faculty members.
Of those 55 positions, 18 would be tenure track, 33 would be non-tenure track and four would be open category positions.
“The immediate hiring plans are targeted to achieve three objectives: enhance high quality undergraduate teaching with full-time faculty members; address management needs in Art; Dance, Theatre and Arts Administration; Communications; English; and Biology; and, provide full-time faculty to maintain accreditation in specialized areas, such as business and the health professions," President Scott Scarborough said. "Now that we have completed the University’s overall budget and are working on the implementation of the colleges’ strategic plans, we are able to make these critical hiring decisions.”
Two of the positions are within the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education, six are within the college of engineering, four are within the school of law, four are within the college of applied science & technology, five are within the college of business administration, 22 are within the college of arts and sciences and 12 are within the college of health professions.
In July, the university announced that it was making $40 million in budgetary cutbacks and eliminating 215 positions.
At that time, administrators said the changes stemmed from a $60 million financial problem they discovered last October.
Shortly after the announcement, Mayor Jeff Fusco called the cuts 'troubling.'
"As Mayor, it is always troubling news when an employer announces layoffs," Fusco's statement read in part. "It is not simply the loss of some tax base; it is the dramatic impact on the families of the affected university employees and students."
Students, faculty and alumni have criticized Scarborough's handling of the cutbacks, saying he doesn't have the students' best interest at heart.