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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 19, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Open Letter: Art department voices support for faculty union

Open letter to the Ithaca College Community

We, the continuing full-time faculty in the Department of Art at Ithaca College, are writing this letter in support of our part-time and contingent co-workers in their present union negotiations as they seek parity in wages and job security. Contract negotiations are necessary steps toward improving these working conditions and disparity in wages. We hope that negotiations continue in good faith until a satisfactory outcome is achieved.

We highly value the work of our part-time colleagues in the Art Department. It is clear that our students greatly value their expertise and teaching. So often our part time colleagues go far beyond their job descriptions to provide extra educational opportunities for our students. All of our so-called “part-time” faculty develop and teach core academic courses as well as some ICC courses. They may in fact be “part-time” at two or three different institutions, traveling between them and working full time to scrape by. In the Art Department part-time professors make up 50% of our faculty and teach about 38% of our courses this semester. We would be unable to offer our program without them teaching a significant number of courses.

We hope that a strike will not be necessary and we sincerely hope the administration understands that equitable pay and working conditions for part-time and contingent faculty will be best for students’ learning conditions. Should our co-workers legally strike we will support their decision and not seek to “replace” them.

Associate Professor and Chair Carla Stetson
Professor Susan Weisend
Professor Ray Ghirardo
Associate Professor Dara Engler
Assistant Professor Sarah Sutton
Assistant Professor Patti Capaldi