In case there's another revenue shortfall in Utah's future, Utah Valley Community College's exigency plan has certain provisions that concern the college's Faculty Senate.

The State Board of Regents requires each college president to have an exigency plan in place, and President Kerry D. Romesburg presented his plan to the Institutional Council last week. Romesburg said he has been working on the plan for more than a year with help from the Faculty Senate and other college officials, and he believes the plan will best preserve the college in case of a revenue shortfall.The plan says, "In considering the alternatives and their application, first priority shall be given to the maintenance of the educational and academic programs central to the mission of the college."

In most cases, the plan calls for non-tenured faculty to be laid off before tenured faculty. But one provision of the plan says, "Highest consideration will be given to retaining faculty or staff whose lack of retention would result in a serious distortion of a specific program or function." The provision says that non-tenured faculty would be given priority in "extraordinary circumstances where a serious distortion of the academic program would otherwise result."

Romesburg said the Faculty Senate opposes this provision because it "feels you either have a tenure system or you don't." But he said some programs have only a few people that can direct them and it is vital to preserve those programs.

"It does not make sense to say we will lay off that person with expertise just because he does not have tenure," Romesburg said. "If it comes to that, we need an administration that is flexible enough to make that decision."

J.D. Davidson, outgoing president of the Faculty Senate, said the provision means faculty members will lose some of their academic freedom. He said faculty members are concerned that the provision will be used to get rid of unwanted or controversial faculty members.

Council member Alan C. Ashton said that another provision that deals with determining a "serious distortion" would keep the administration from using the exigency plan to eliminate unwanted faculty. The provision says a "serious distortion" will be determined by procedures and criteria established by the Faculty Senate and the Professional/Administrative/Classified Employees and that the reduction of tenured faculty member cannot be based on performance.