University of New Hampshire Job Cuts Target Experienced Language Teachers

BY UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE LECTURERS UNITED-AAUP

Below is a press release issued today by the University of New Hampshire Lecturers United–AAUP. 

Contact: Catherine Moran
Phone:  401-439-1067
Date: Jan 19, 2018

UNHLU-AAUP members lobbying at the New Hampshire state house in 2017.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Durham, NH— Some 160 years of teaching experience will be lost to the University of New Hampshire because of a round of job cuts that the union has learned about. Based on information gathered by the lecturer faculty union, UNHLU-AAUP, the cuts target the College of Liberal Arts where 18 Lecturers have been told they will not be asked to return in the fall.

Letters to the affected faculty cite budget constraints and “strategic realignments.” There appears to be no faculty governance consultation.  The cuts eliminate the only Arabic program faculty member, and 5 other language faculty have been let go. Faculty are concerned about their students as many courses and programs are certain to be affected. The University has not identified a plan for how courses will be covered after so many teaching-intensive faculty are gone.

A petition started on behalf of the affected faculty and students was started by the American Association of Teachers of French (AAFT).  This can be found at http://chn.ge/2DsokGM.

“At a time when we need to address the grand challenges associated with creating engaged, global citizens, we cannot afford to limit the academic experiences of our students,” says Catherine Moran, UNH Lecturers United-AAUP President. “In order to be prepared for careers in business, government service, public safety, health care, and beyond, our students need to develop their fluency in languages, and cultural, societal, and political awareness.”

Students across the university will be affected. All students are required to study languages, but students studying Middle East Studies, Homeland Security, Justice Studies, International Affairs, History, and Political Science will be particularly impacted.

The union’s information has been confirmed by Provost’s office. The cuts, which only target non tenure-track lecturers, come as the teaching professionals’ 4 year-old bargaining unit is in the midst of negotiations.

“These cuts target faculty who have significant teaching experience. Many of the faculty have made long commitments to UNH, on average having been employed at the university for 9 years, some as many as 20 years,” Moran said.

The cuts in language teaching, including teaching English as a Second Language, come when UNH has made internationalization part of their strategic plan.

Table of numbers of Lecturer Cuts

English as a Second Language 7
English 1
History 1
Political Science 2
French 2
Spanish 3
Arabic 1
Education 1

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2 thoughts on “University of New Hampshire Job Cuts Target Experienced Language Teachers

  1. Very similar situation at Pacific Lutheran on the opposite coast. Sr Lecturers demoted in 2017, lost credits and benefits, this year they are cutting tenure-line faculty with financial exigency as the excuse. My point is that NTT faculty are the canaries in the coal mine. We need to defend each other against these “strategic realignments” which are not in the interests of students OR faculty. They are in the interests of the administrative class who primarily want to protect their own jobs. Academic Chairs, step up! Courage to those faculty at UNH.

  2. Jane’s “Canaries in the coal mine” died years ago as academics turned inward leaving many of the “administrative” duties to focus on their own professional world. Unfortunately, for many that was to fall into the “publish/perish” world which, in many institutions then became an administrative tool as part of the measure for promotion and tenure. A noted psychologist said that once one gives up their “no”, it is hard to get it back.

    One needs to remember that the 10th century founding of the modern university was by governments and The Church. Humboldt’s revision was top down and the founding of the land grant institutions again, was a government decision. The medallion East Coast institutions in the US had their directions set by external forces, also. To paraphrase Bruce Sterling in Green Days in Brunei, the technical elite did not make decisions as to what to work on, they were owned by the ones and zeros in the banker’s computers.

    The UNH’s decisions are paradigmatic. What knowledge should be provided for students to access in the University and how that should be delivered. In today’s Internet environment, both options can be satisfied in a number of ways, if the institution chooses. Or more importantly, if those with the fiscal resources so move

    The fiscal resources are in the hands of the students and the funding agencies. The union’s hope is to convince, not the administration but the source of funds, the tax payers, elected officials and students. The latter are free, today, to obtain the needed knowledge in a variety of ways. But that also means that the faculty may also have to make serious decisions as to their future rolls and responsibilities.

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