Saturday, March 3, 2012

Via Leiter Reports: Philosophy, Physics, Other Programs Threatened with Closure

[ A sad state of affairs. Maybe some are not aware of similar things in the Philippines.]
"Given the sorts of issues you track and publicize in your blog [Leiter Reports], I want to send you some information about what is happening (at lightning speed, and without any real consultation) at my university.  These include issues like post tenure review, forcing faculty who haven't met university wide publishing goals to teach extra classes (without any warning or input as to the new criteria), shutting down the Price Lab School (we are the major educational college for our state), and this last week, announcing that they will be cutting large numbers of programs (including central programs like physics, philosophy & religion, etc.) and laying off many tenured faculty with the programs.  This last cut was announced to the faculty union and the faculty senate last Monday, apparently they were expecting to ram it through in a couple of days (the Price Lab school closure happened, from Presidential announcement to Board of Regents approval, in less than a week), but they met enough resistance and strong enough legal arguments from faculty groups to give them pause.  Still, they expect to go through with the cuts next week.  As these groups were sworn to secrecy and since they also weren't even given official lists of all the programs being cut (they were merely shown overheads), information is hard to come by.  Basically, if these changes go through, it will gut the character of the university as a comprehensive liberal arts institution.  The AAUP is also involved, but I doubt they will be heard.  it's also worth noting, as the union has documented, the diversion of money from the core mission of teaching students to areas like Administration and Auxiliary services (mainly athletics).  There has been a cut anounced for athletics (nothing like what is coming for faculty), and as far as we can tell, no significant cuts for Administration."

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