Queries to the President and Board of Trustees from UPI

Dear Members,

I asked the following at the Board of Trustees yesterday and have emailed these queries to President Hahs, Chair Azcotia and the other members of the Board this morning.

In solidarity and with thanks for your support and incredible excellence in service of our students,

Sophia

The Executive Board of NEIU/UPI has charged me with the task of formally asking why academic departments are being asked to plan for 5 and 10 percent cuts to their budgets.

Let me give you an overview of the Board. We are 5 Instructors, 2 tenured librarians, 2 Academic Support Professionals, and 11 tenured professors from across all three colleges. We have, as a group, served on search committees for deans and provosts. Several of us have been graduate advisors and facilitators. We have worked in the administration as chairs and as directors. We are published and produce creative works. We have chaired and led curriculum development and led the formation of governing structures on this campus.

In short, our Executive Board represents and reflects the university professionals who make NEIU the place of excellence that it is.

When people driving on the Kennedy see the new El Centro and think “what goes on there at Northeastern,” they will be asking what are we doing and what is our membership doing.

We are asking why drastic and destructive cuts in instruction are being planned for this university.

Is it in fact the case that only the Colleges are being cut? Are the other sections of the university not being asked to cut their budgets by 5 and 10 percent?

Why is Academic Affairs expanding its budget by hiring a communications specialist to write emails for the office, while at the same time departments are being asked to diminish their course offerings?

Are we draining money from teaching and our mission of excellence to pay for the purchase of land to build buildings?

At a Finance Committee meeting earlier this year, I said I was personally agnostic on the prospect of building dorms and other growth on campus.

I am not, however, agnostic on the prospect of gutting the excellence of this university’s teaching mission.

I am against it.

We are against it. And we are against steps that damage our ability to teach non-traditional as well as traditional students.