Open letter to the Ithaca College community:
We, the undersigned members of the steering committee of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, are writing in support of our part-time and contingent colleagues in their collective union efforts to forge a mutually beneficial contract with Ithaca College.
In Women’s and Gender Studies, we are entirely dependent on part-time faculty to cover our primary courses. We have been able to hire excellent faculty and have seen first hand the enormous time and energy they invest in our students. But we have to hire anew every academic year, and it is an embarrassment to only offer $4,200 per course. We would much prefer to have a full-time continuing line in WGST; we are a thriving program and our course enrollments certainly justify it. But since our ongoing request for such a line has not been fulfilled, we continue to depend on part-time faculty to meet our basic needs (specifically, 7 courses during AY 2016-2017). This is an untenable situation for our students, our part-time faculty, and us.
We hope that the college and the union can work together toward a mutually satisfactory outcome that avoids a disruption of our students’ education. However, in the event that the union decides to strike, our feminist principles will guide us in supporting the strike and not seeking to “replace” the courses of our colleagues.