AAUP COVID response

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June 9, 2020: AAUP Letter to College Leadership

6.9.20 letter.pdf

May 19, 2020: MHC AAUP Letter to College Leadership

Sonya Stephens, President

Jon Western, Dean of Faculty

Dear Sonya and Jon:

On May 18, some 65 members of the Mount Holyoke AAUP voted unanimously to request a meeting between the President, the Dean of Faculty, and a small group of chapter representatives. We are deeply concerned about the prospect of steep budget cuts and the impact these might have on our faculty and staff colleagues. Moreover, we are in the dark about how such difficult decisions might be made, and the AAUP -- the independent faculty voice -- requires a better understanding of how the budget process will go forward in this evolving crisis.

We note that there will be several key moments over the next few months that may provide more clarity as to our immediate future. These include June meetings of the Board of Trustees; another round of curriculum planning and student registration; and the deadline for receiving first tuition payments. There will also be as yet unknown recommendations from the state of Massachusetts.

Given the speed with which this is all happening, we request a meeting with you as soon as possible. We note that although many of us are also working members of various faculty committees, task forces, and emergency response teams, none of us has a firm grasp on how the budget process will work moving forward.

Faculty continue to have vital concerns about a range of related topics, and we wish to communicate these concerns to you on behalf of our members. These concerns include: the role of the endowment; the fact that non-TT faculty lack concrete answers about their future; faculty workload over the summer and beyond; options for retaining as many staff as possible in their jobs; and the differences between furlough and layoff.

We look forward to hearing from you and to meeting with you, in the spirit of making the most informed and humane decisions to insure Mount Holyoke’s future.

Sincerely,

The Steering Committee of the Mount Holyoke chapter of the AAUP