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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 23, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Open Letter: Administration must stop hiding behind students

In a recent statement on intercom regarding the part-time faculty union negotiations (“February 2 Update on Part-Time Faculty Union Negotiations”), the IC administration takes the union to task for considering a strike vote, and pontificates that “our students have the right to expect that faculty remain in the classroom and deliver the courses they have paid to receive.” Our students also have the right to know that their hefty tuition fees are lining the pockets of our top administrators while many of the professors who provide the courses students “pay to receive” are struggling to afford the rent and forced to get by on Medicaid. The administration’s argument that IC part-time professors are paid a fair “market rate” because other regional institutions also choose to exploit their contingent faculty reveals the utter moral bankruptcy of our leadership. The same mindless worship of the “market” accounts for the fact that the American middle class has imploded and that workers across the United States have been turned into cheap disposable commodities whose primary function is to enrich those in management positions. The IC administration’s Walmart model of higher education does not sit well with many students, staff and faculty on this campus, who see through the official smooth talk and recognize the ugly structures of oppression the College is attempting to perpetuate. Nancy Pringle, Linda Petrosino, and Gwen Seaquist should stop hiding behind the students to justify their continued commitment to exploiting part-time faculty at IC.

Tom Schneller
Lecturer, Music Theory, History, and Composition