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EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Hoping to show a good faith effort to faculty upset with his decision making, University of Evansville president Christopher Pietruszkiewicz has extended the period of time they plan to discuss a proposed realignment of the university.

The proposal would likely see 17 underused majors disappear and with them the layoffs of dozens of faculty members. Pietruszkiewicz says he is extending the discussion period for the realignment plan by 45-days.

“In the last month since I shared the announcement of the draft academic realignment plan, the University of Evansville administration has had a productive conversation with some members of the faculty and UE community,” Pietruszkiewicz said in an open letter. “We want to continue those discussions.”

Faculty members have said that they have felt stymied by the administration in the discussions. They have been asking Pietruszkiewicz for more time to formulate their own realignment plan.

“We know that this is an unsettling time. Demographic trends are forcing significant changes at many universities,” he added. “The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded those challenges.”

He said he understands the plan will affect many people and their families, but that he still has a duty to keep the school open going forward.