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Petition To Defend UND From Administrative Attacks

This petition had 541 supporters

It has come to the attention of students, faculty, and alumni of UND that our current president is unqualified and unfit to represent our broad and diverse community. In the process of creating a new budget, our current administration has kept the students in the dark about their plans to gut our liberal arts programs. Through this gutting process, faculty members will either be fired or forced to drop classes in their areas of specialty in order to teach other “high enrollment” classes. There are also entire departments, programs, and majors that are likely going to be cut. All liberal arts programs are under the threat of being forced into one Humanities Department as if Philosophy, English, Art History, and Musical Theory are interchangeable. This shows the clear lack of knowledge and overt disrespect for education that our current administration is plaguing our campus with.

This University currently holds the prestige of being the state of North Dakota’s flagship University, however after defunding and cutting the very programs that make up “the core of our education” this will no longer hold true. Qualified faculty and administrators will be lost in order to bloat President Kennedy’s already inflated salary. Unnecessary “assistants” will be hired and paid $60,000 a year to help President Kennedy and his wife organize events, despite the fact that this amount of money could be allocated to programs like Women and Gender Studies to keep them going. Sounds like Mr. President needs to stop lying about his “devotion” to education, and admit that he would rather cut programs and majors that students are paying for than see his cocktail party fund suffer.

As current students, we demand to be heard. We are not afraid to take our tuition dollars elsewhere, to encourage our friends and families to do the same, and to speak to our alumni friends about withholding their funds. We will request public records from state senators and administrators in order to see where our tuition money is going. As defenders of education, we will vote against any legislators and governors that support these cuts and ensure that our voices are heard beyond this letter.

As families, friends, and concerned members of the public, we are not afraid to speak out against this University and ensure that the administration be held accountable for their blatant attacks on education. As alumni, we are not afraid to take our money elsewhere if the University is unable to hold its status as flagship. If the administration refuses to take this request seriously, consequences will be felt through media exposure, lowered enrollment (which means less tuition money,) lowered community support, and lowered contributions from alumni who feel as if this University no longer represents the strong institution they remember it to be. I will end on a quote from The University of North Dakota’s mission statement, “The University maintains its original mission in liberal arts...and encourages students to make informed choices, to communicate effectively, to be intellectually curious and creative.”

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