College sees large turnover

Photo by Thomas Maxwell.

Several college employees depart from college, but reasons remain confidential

More than 20 employees across nearly 15 departments have departed from the college in the last year, but college officials said the turnover has left minimal impact on the campus community.

Turnover was noted in several departments between the 2016-2017 academic year and now, including the religious life and education departments. The admissions office and IT department also saw a loss in employees within the last year. 

The Franklin requested details about the departures, but Dan Schluge, vice president of finance and interim human resources director, cited confidentiality reasons for not commenting on the turnover. Schluge also said the college doesn’t calculate the turnover rate.

But although the reasons behind the departures remain confidential, several faculty members retired at the end of the spring semester.

Since President Thomas Minar’s arrival in 2015, several college cabinet members left their positions, including Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College David Brailow.

“Turnover is normal in any setting,” Schluge said. “The college is not concerned by it. [The college] has to have competitive salaries, benefits, community and people need an environment that is fun to work in.” 

Franklin offers the lowest average salary for assistant professors with an average of $51,343 compared to similar schools, according to startclass.com, an education data site. That’s $5,000 less than Hanover College, and nearly $15,000 less than both DePauw University and Manchester University, according to the same site.

Schluge and Lori Kay Schroeder, provost and dean of the college, declined to confirm if the average salary listed is accurate. 

Sarah Shroyer, former administrative assistant of the Engaged Learning Center, which houses the leadership department and the office of global education among others, said that while she loved working at Franklin, it was time for a change.

“I left because I wanted the opportunity for advancement and professional growth,” Shroyer said. “My career has a direct impact on my family, and I needed to do what was best for me professionally and personally.”

The abrupt departure of graphic design professor Wendy Shapiro this summer left several students in the art department uncertain of who would oversee graphic design courses. But Schluge said students typically remain unaffected by the changes. 

A majority of the vacant positions have been filled, though several remain open, notably in the IT department, which Schluge said has experienced difficulty operating with fewer employees. 

The Engaged Learning Center is predominantly empty, though Brooke Worland, assistant provost and dean of engaged learning, said the center hopes to see the space repopulated by next year following the departure of both Dale Rebhorn, director of leadership, and Doug Grant, director of service learning and civic engagement.

The college’s online staff directory is removed. The Franklin compared the employees listed in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic catalogs to reach an estimate.

This story has been updated for clarification purposes.

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About Thomas Maxwell 1 Articles
Thomas Maxwell is a photographer for The Franklin News. He is majoring in French and minoring in Spanish. He is passionate about the French language and literature, as well as fine art photography with a particular interest in images that tell a story. He has spent a year abroad in the South of France as well as a summer in the South of Spain, immersing himself in all things French and Spanish. He runs a small photography business specializing in everything from landscapes to weddings. When he is not working or studying, he enjoys a quiet night in with a glass of wine and a good book or Netflix. This is Thomas' first year on The Franklin staff.

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