On Sunday, the Columbia Tribune published a story regarding two married faculty in the Theater Department who were terminated without notice at the close of the spring semester, in accordance with the administration’s mandate for 5% cutbacks on a College and Division level. In one day, their entire household income was eliminated.
It is clear that the University faces significant budgetary problems that are beyond the ability of current resources to absorb: a reality made worse by partisan attacks on the University’s budget and autonomy. However, it has become a troubling pattern that those that suffer from cuts are inevitably those that are the most vulnerable, particularly non-tenure track faculty, staff, and graduate student employees. Sunday’s story was a visceral reminder of the human toll of slashed budgets.
Passing the pain of austerity to the most vulnerable employees of the University while administrators allocate University resources toward retreats at luxury hotels and resorts, as reported by the Columbia Tribune, is unacceptable and indefensible. Firing support staff while former Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin continues to collect a substantial salary for vague and undefined job duties, as reported by both the Columbia Tribune and Columbia Missourian, is unacceptable and indefensible. Eliminating non-tenure track faculty positions while administrative pay continues to rise and administrators face few or no cuts, as reported Sunday by the Columbia Tribune, is unacceptable and indefensible.
Accordingly, the Coalition of Graduate Workers will begin building an advocacy campaign on behalf of the staff, non-tenure track faculty, and graduate student employees who are disproportionately impacted by budget cuts.
Coalition of Graduate Workers