Thread regarding American Public University System layoffs

Reality of Layoffs at APUS The Fear Factor

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.

Post ID: @OP+ElwyiWA

7 replies (most recent on top)

It sounds like APUS is going down the same road as University of Phoenix. Do you think it can change course? Has anyone thought about organizing a union to maintain teacher quality and system quality?

The company has had good people run out by the toxic political environment. They all live in fear of the VP of Operations who literally will run that IT company into the grounds.

Post ID: @34mwt+ElwyiWA

APUS and AMU have no connection to the military, other than that they take lots of money from DOD and the VA (GI Bill). It also has a strategic agreement with Walmart. APUS is a for-profit college system with 6-year graduation rate of about 40%. In 2012, the last year on record, the student default rate was 23%..........................

I just got hired here and it seems ok so far for faculty. The pay per student thing is unusual. Is this a lump sum after my class is done? Also, I found the AMU angle to be strange. I have some students who are saying they like the military connection of the college but I don't think there is an actual link to the military like at West Point. Overall, so far so good but I'll check back after a I get a few classes done.

Post ID: @2zazo+ElwyiWA

According to the last Annual Report, "APUS employs approximately 410 full-time faculty members and 1,800 part-time faculty members." That may be good ratio for a community college, but not a 4-year college or university.

Faculty is not the only department that is suffering. They just did a sizable layoff in IT which is just a follow-up to several previous layoffs. The company just decided they did not need a QA department and has laid-off all the employees. Let me say that again. The company that runs 100% online often on home-grown software has decided they do not need a QUALITY ASSURANCE department. I am fairly confidant that they IT classes being taught to their students would not include this as a good SDLC practice.

Post ID: @6h1R+ElwyiWA

This is an epic post. Thank you bro

Post ID: @3RI+ElwyiWA

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