USD Library 'Reorganization' Met With Opposition

USD Professor Says Layoffs Violate School's Core Values

The announcement of layoffs at a local university is being met with fierce opposition.

University of San Diego recently let eight library staff members go in what administrators call a reorganization to bring the library into the 21st century. School administrators said they've hired new people to serve the students.

USD Professor Jerome Hall, who speaks on behalf of the faculty, said the staff changes violate the university's core values.

"The manner in which these people were laid off is a direct affront to what we're proclaiming publicly," Hall said.

Hall referenced USD's mission statement, which provides "protection of the rights and dignity of the individual" including "faculty and staff."

"Where's the dignity in that? Especially in these tough economic times," said Hall.

USD President Mary Lyons wrote the staff at the end of August and said the staff change is what is best for the students.

On Thursday, USD issued the following statement:

"In early July, there was a reorganization in the Copley Library at USD. The purpose of the reorganization was to enhance the library’s ability to provide the best services for USD students and faculty. The reorganization resulted in the elimination of some staff positions and the creation of new librarian and staff positions. The reorganization will allow USD to better address the changing nature of information access in our main campus library.

The new organizational structure increases the number of persons trained to teach and assist our students in their learning and research and to assist our faculty in their teaching and scholarship. We will also soon have a librarian available to assist students with reference questions during late evening hours.

Be assured the Copley Library reorganization was not conducted before the conclusion of extensive research and evaluation. By making these changes, USD has responded to changes in library functions, the role of librarians and the impact of emerging technologies on libraries.

And, while we cannot comment on any specific personnel matter, I assure you the reorganization was conducted properly."

Bill Hall, a USD graduate who had worked at the library for 35 years, told 10News, "I can't ever say I retired from USD. I feel I've been robbed of that."

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