The Restructuring Effort of Ramapo College of New Jersey

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Addressed to President Peter Mercer and Provost Beth Barnett of Ramapo College of New Jersey:

            Simply put, this institution is one that is honored to call it self a Liberal Arts college. As members of the College Community, we believe the manner in which the restructuring of SSHGS was presented is ambiguous insomuch as the existence of SSHGS is in question, the survival of particular majors/minors are obscure, and the ability for professors to maintain the quality of their programs is in danger. With these facts in tow, we think a restructuring of the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies at this time presents many different challenges for both the student and faculty communities’. While we feel that a restructuring may be in the best interest of the college, we feel that the abrupt nature of the announcement for a restructuring of SSGHS indicates to us a solitary decision made to defer the importance of such an action, seeing as it was announced only to faculty on the eve of the college’s Spring Break, and cannot honestly be put forth as solely a means of institutional restructuring. The timing, with about a month left before finals and the summer break, make it almost impossible to organize an effort in which the students and faculty are a part of the discussion when it comes to their future at this institution.  We think it is imperative and we the student body are asking, along with a number of faculty who have decided to add their signatures to this petition, that the Provost, Beth Barnett, and President Peter Mercer hold a town hall where students and faculty are given concrete answers about how the restructuring will be funded, the process and procedures that are being under taken to ensure future success of each of the five schools, and the guarantee that current students will neither be financially nor will their education be negatively impacted by the college’s final decision. We ask that this meeting be schedule for a time before finals, so as to be able to continue with our efforts over the summer, after we have been given concrete answers about the direction of the proposed restructuring.

The role of Dean takes on a political responsibility to the students and faculty of SSHGS, in the form of the Dean’s Council, and it is imperative that their interest are represented within this administrative body. We believe that the Provost at this time should seek a permanent dean be employed by the college at the discretion of the SSHGS faculty. This will ensure that our programs and offerings can continue without major disruptions to the current curriculum.   We also ask that any further restructuring be a collective effort between students, the administration, and the five schools of the college and not solely up to the President and Provost. We also would like the input of the Salameno family, which has donated monies to the college as an effort to further its stated liberal arts mission.

On behalf of the student body and the faculty, we sincerely look forward to working with the administration in the future to ensure that the best possible plan is put in motion, where all parties are given an equal voice for their futures.  

Thank you,

The Students of Ramapo College