To Retain the Adjunct Faculty at Stony Brook University
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The Dire Situation at Stony Brook
- In addition to the budget cuts already enacted at Stony Brook University, the administration is now indiscriminately eliminating adjuncts campus wide.
- As a result of reduced teaching staff, full-time faculty will be forced to teach courses outside of their disciplines.
- President Stanley recently stated “we will not do across the board cuts,” a promise that he has now gone back on.
- Despite Stanley's support for HeForShe, these cuts would disproportionately impact women, who make up a significant number of the adjuncts.
Why This Matters
Such cuts punish our exceptional adjunct faculty–many of whom have been teaching at Stony Brook for years–and many of whom have done extra service beyond their job description (mentorship of students, university service and committee work, etc.). This action directly contradicts the university’s purported claim to “offer all students a world-class education.” TAs and full-time faculty from other departments are being forced to teach classes in unrelated fields. For example, full-time lecturers in history, Asian-American studies, and even pharmacology and geology, will teach writing courses. Similar situations will be put in place across campus. The administration's proposal to bring in lecturers from other departments means that programs and departments will not retain many adjuncts. This is an academically flawed strategy that will cripple the quality of education for students and risk Stony Brook's reputation.
Furthermore, these measures are in direct opposition to what President Stanley himself announced to faculty in his summary of this year’s State of Stony Brook University message, where he assured that “we will not do across the board cuts and weaken strong programs.” These cuts will do exactly that, crumbling highly successful programs while preying on the most vulnerable among us, and undermining Stanley's other stated claim of doing better “in the area of faculty diversity.” In addition, Stanley, as a "HeForShe Impact Champion," emphasizes: "The gender equality issues we face on a daily basis could not be more important or timely. We know that Stony Brook University is not free of these issues. It is the willingness to address these questions and improve ourselves in the process that will create that change." Yet a disproportionate number of those who will lose their jobs are women and minorities.
These job cuts are not necessary. Chairs around campus have offered to keep vacant faculty spots open or to suspend searches to help with the budget issues in the College of Arts and Sciences but these, and other offers, have been declined.
What We Can Do
We need your help. Our plan is to get enough support and testimonials to demonstrate the very real value that our adjuncts provide–to highlight how the administration’s shortsighted maneuvering will adversely affect faculty, the students we serve, and the larger campus community.
In addition to signing to voice your support, we encourage you to please contact the President, Provost, and others to demand that they reverse these cuts:
- President Stanley’s Office: (631) 632-6265, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office of the Provost, Michael Bernstein: (631) 632-7000, email@example.com
- Governor Cuomo’s Office: contact information, phone: 1-518-474-8390
- Contact SUNY directly: Contact information
Whether you are a student, an alum, a faculty member, or a fellow New Yorker who values some of the most dedicated workers in your state university system, please sign, comment, and spread this message to all friends, family, and colleagues through whatever networks are available to you!
[NOTE: We are not asking for money only for your signature and support. Any request for donations is an automated response from Change.org.]
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