Layoffs, more at Tufts dental school spark controversy

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Tufts University said its faculty senate erred in issuing a resolution that condemned Tufts' handling of layoffs and salary reductions at its dental school, according to an article published October 19 in the Tufts Daily.

In a statement, university officials said the faculty senate does not have authority over such personnel decisions. The senate resolution denounced the school's alleged lack of communication and transparency in laying off 77 employees, furloughing 26 workers for four months, and reducing hours or salaries for other workers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. The school, which is a private university in Massachusetts, also suspended several community hygiene programs. All actions were taken due to the effects of COVID-19.

In its resolution, the senate, which is composed of members from all schools within the university, stated that the university's actions destroyed the trust between faculty and the administration. The senate said it was taken aback by the university's move because it was informed of the school's finances at a July meeting. It alleged that administrators did not explain that layoffs, budget cuts, and other measures were on the horizon, and members didn't expect one specific school within the university to face such a major blow.

In addition, some who spent decades at the dental school were told they were being let go during minutes-long online meetings, according to the article.

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