To the Editor:
The Ohio University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) calls on the Ohio University administration to halt terminations of faculty of instruction (formerly known as “Group 2” faculty).
Many of these faculty members are among the institution’s most successful and award-winning teachers. Instructional faculty are indispensable to the ability of the university to deliver its existing curriculum, particularly the general education courses. Moreover, with the general education revision on the horizon, all indicators are that there will be a significant increase in the demand for general education credit. Yet reductions in instructional staff are scheduled to coincide with this increase in demand.
OU-AAUP is cognizant of the severe financial strain the university is experiencing. We are also cognizant of the need to update general education with a revision that brings Ohio University into compliance with statewide expectations of public four-year institutions. However, it seems clear that our instructional faculty will be central to delivering much of the content required by this revision.
It appears that a crisis-driven decision-making process is requiring the thinning of faculty ranks and the loss of teaching power at exactly the time and often in exactly the curricular places where we will need it most.
A core commitment to investing in the academic mission will strengthen our ability to deliver on the curricular revision. But this will require the administration to reconsider its responses to the university’s budgetary situation. Any legitimate response must prioritize and protect the academic mission, and the curricular and pedagogical experience of our students. Instructional faculty members are critical to this mission.
Ohio University Chapter, American
Association of University Professors