Stop the Retrenchment of the English Faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania

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Dear President Driscoll, Provost Moerland, and Chancellor Greenstein,

This petition is being put together on behalf of the students, alumni, and friends of IUP's Composition and Applied Linguistics Ph.D. and MA TESOL programs in order to help save our faculty members’ jobs. In relation to your announcement on restructuring, we have been made aware that cuts to faculty lines are expected to affect the English department and the Composition and Applied Linguistics and MA TESOL programs directly.

Students are attracted to the Composition and Applied Linguistics and MA TESOL programs for their reputation for excellence and the expertise of their faculty. No other programs globally combine teacher education with the tenants of applied linguistics, TESOL, composition, and rhetoric. The programs would be irretrievably harmed by the loss of specialized expertise that retrenchment would entail.

The existing plan for cuts to faculty would be detrimental to the overall student experience. Consequences would include less student-centered programs overall, limited course offerings, larger classes, lower student-to-faculty ratios, and fewer opportunities to work and learn from professors, all of whom are recognized experts in their respective fields. In fact, what sets the Composition and Applied Linguistics and TESOL programs at IUP apart from its competitors is its unique, interdisciplinary nature and the specializations of its faculty. Cutting faculty positions undermines the very feature of the program that has created its renown and attracts students to IUP in the first place.

While we understand the challenges that IUP faces in these turbulent times, we urge you to reconsider cuts to faculty lines within Composition and Applied Linguistics and MA TESOL. Not only has the CAL program grown in recent years with increasingly large numbers of summer-only students, none of whom receive assistantships or other tuition assistance from the college, but we also represent cohorts of well-known higher education professionals in our own right. We hail from around the world, and our expertise both represents and recommends IUP each and every day.

We stand in solidarity with the rest of the English department at IUP, and are asking that no cuts be made to the department faculty. The value of an English education, whether that be Literature & Criticism, English Education, TESOL, or Composition and Applied Linguistics, is immeasurable. Each of the programs listed teach students how to thoughtfully engage with texts, as well as how to effectively portray their thoughts into written form. English is known to teach and craft critical thinking, writing, and communication skills, which are marketable for all students. We are petitioning to save all English faculty at IUP!

Prior to this announcement, we have been proud to call ourselves IUP students and alumni. Please do not undermine the value of our graduate degrees by cutting the very faculty crucial to the overall quality of our student experience.

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