Approximately 70 programs have been slated for elimination or restructuring, and 29 tenured faculty have been “invited” to resign. The Senate and the AAUP chapter (United Faculty –AAUP) have condemned the lack of faculty input in the administration’s plans to close programs. If you want to read more about the situation, you can click here: http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/newsroom/2012webhighlight/uniupdate.htm
The administration’s actions affect more than just the faculty and students at one university. The defining characteristics of these decisions—the lack of faculty consultation, the disregard for tenure, and the ill-considered impact on the quality of education at UNI—will set the precedent for higher education cuts throughout Iowa and the United States. Please take a moment to stand with your colleagues at the University of Northern Iowa.
In recognition of your decisions to:
--move ahead with program closures at UNI
--eliminate faculty positions and classes that are central to UNI’s fine liberal arts tradition
--support an administration that violates academic freedom, as evidenced in the recent arbitrator’s decision (www.uni.edu/unitedfaculty/uf_informational_letters.htm)
--not include the faculty senate in meaningful and extended conversations about changes to the curriculum
--disregard the input of UF-AAUP regarding seniority and recall rights
we call upon you to do the right thing: engage the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa in a serious, substantive, and extended conversation about the future of the university, the curriculum, and ways to contain costs. We call on you to cease all plans for layoffs and to stop making unilateral decisions without substantive faculty input. Do not keep justifying your actions in the name of a financial crisis that plainly does not exist. In the past, you have expressed commitment to the widely-respected AAUP standards of Academic Freedom and Governance that represent the professional norms of academia. Today, that commitment is seriously in question. It’s not too late. We call on you to change course: open a path to dialogue with the faculty, reaffirm your commitment to AAUP standards, and prevent damage to the core educational mission of UNI.