In the last couple of years there have been layoffs 'only' in the Academic area - the part of the school that is truly needed for students. The upper echelon has not suffered at all during any layoffs, drops in enrollment, and so forth. The upper echelon keeps increasing their fat salaries along with titles such as VP in front of their names to collect free stock. If their goals are met at the end of the year they also graciously give themselves bonuses. No one else receives these self appointed bonuses in the company.
All this goes on at the cost of the backbone of the other employees. For example, faculty wages are 42% below the average payable wage. The average pay for a faculty member at the Instructor level is $38,524.00. Part time faculty have not been given an increase in pay since before 2005. Part time faculty are paid by the student with a payment of $120.00 per student. One student in an eight week course - yes you have just earned $120.00! This of course is before taxes.
The new retention effort is targeted clearly at faculty. It is faculty's responsibility to 'keep' students. Faculty are constantly observed by a Program Director, Faculty Director, outside observer, or the Center for Teaching and Learning. Faculty are rated on three levels of engagement for participation and feedback on forums. Each faculty is targeted at least every other eight week start. There are monthly meetings to discuss why a teacher (even good teachers) have a high drop rate and should that teacher be removed from the course. If a teacher is removed from a course it is generally a high volume course and the teacher will loose his or her job because one cannot meet their teaching numbers. Teachers are required to meet their yearly work plan goal on the number of students taught each year, e.g., 500 (which is to be increased for 2016 by 10%). The university has concocted another creative way to layoff (fire) faculty now with what they believe is lack of performance on the retention initiative. Faculty are often told 'you do not want to be on the list.' Lately faculty have also been told (not in writing of course) that you do not want to submit students for plagiarism and students need to pass with at least a C in courses.
The other new layoff (firing) tactic is to set up a one-on-one meeting with your departmental Dean. You think it is just a meeting. Alas, you are wrong. The faculty member is blind sided with Human Resources being on the phone. You are told you are not a good fit for the university based on your performance - period. No time to lawyer up. They send you a severance package within five minutes at the end of the phone call, which is generally for three months - clearly not enough time to support you or your family while trying to find new employment.
The layoff meter at APUS has become very creative. Employees live in the fear factor of the dictatorship of APUS and not having a job. It is a constant threat held over your head. It is so bad they have started calling a new dean "the litter reign of terror" because no one wants to have contact with her out of fear of receiving a phone call meeting summons to be layedoff/fired.
Sadly these are the layoff tactics of this university. Given time they will come up with more creative ways to terrorize its employees with fear and layoff tactics.