Lip Service

I was pleased to open my e-mail this morning and find a note from President Hill, only four days after writing a direct message to her. I believe the turnaround on my first e-mail was about six days, so it’s clear that they’re making an effort to respond to our concerns.

“I am sorry not to be able to reply in detail and individually to each of the messages I have received recently concerning academic staffing plans for next year and how those plans affect various academic programs and departments.  Please know that your concerns have been registered and contribute to our understanding and appreciation of the issues.  We continue to develop those plans in consultations with the chairs of departments and programs.”

This “consultation” process sounds great, but it’s glossing over some things. It’s glossing over the fact that adjunct professors who were assured of their “moral tenure” a year ago are now being brushed aside. It’s glossing over the fact that this fight is headed for lawsuits, not “consultation”. This is going to get ugly, and it should get ugly. There is more behind this than we are seeing in the President’s words, and it’s clear that she and the administration are hoping that the alums and the students on campus forget about this over the break.

To those with friends in the media – contact them. Jon and I have contacted a few people who will hopefully be able to bring more publicity to this, but nothing will make that need for publicity more clear than if newspaper reporters are hearing from many, many people. I’ve heard about all the kind e-mails and letters that faculty have received, and we know how moved they have been by our enormous show of support. Now is the time to get this issue in the papers, to apply public pressure to what has been a private campaign so far.

-Austin Murphy ’05

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