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Questioning the Assumptions Behind Budget Cuts


To the editor:

On February 24, the provost, president and Board of Trustees of Ithaca College announced the College’s acceptance of a plan entitled “The Shape of the College,” which aims to reshape the institution’s academic infrastructure in the service of ensuring the stability of its finances in the long term.

This announcement should not have come as a surprise to members of the College community, particularly given the article “ Now Is the Time for Hard Decisions, ” published by Inside Higher Ed on February 18, written by Ithaca’s president and provost.

The article endorses elements of this plan, most prominently its call for the elimination, beginning at the conclusion of the present academic year, of 116 FTEs, a reduction that will consist almost entirely of contingent and renewable term faculty positions. The article asserts that these reductions on this timeline are necessary.

The Ithaca College AAUP chapter questions the assumptions on which this assertion is based, and we oppose the plan.

Ithaca College is not, of course, the only institution of higher education presently coping with financial challenges. Many other smaller private colleges and universities that operate on tuition-dependent revenue models are having similar conversations, particularly in the northeast. Yet […]

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