BY SAMANTHA SCHILLING
SC Contributing Writer
East Stroudsburg University has made retrenchment cuts that will affect, as of October 30, seven departments, including Music, Chemistry, Physics, Physical Education and Fitness, Elementary Education, and Counseling Services.
There was a Student Forum discussion held by Dr. Andi McClanahan and other faculty on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.
You may be thinking “how does this affect me?” and “what can I do to help?” Many students, like myself, came to East Stroudsburg University over schools like Penn State or Bloomsburg because of the small community feel the campus has. When ESU does go through with cutting the faculty, the class sizes have a possibility of becoming larger.
Do you enjoy the fact that your teachers know your name and actually seem to care about you as a person?
Well, say good-bye to the personalized teacher-student relationships and say hello to the possibility of lecture hall classes being more of the norm.
The Administration claims that faculty salaries are taking up too much of the budget, but according to the numbers supplied at the Student Forum meeting on October 23, faculty salaries are only costing approximately 34% of the budget.
Between 2009-2012, faculty has decreased 13%, and we have had approximately 10% decline in enrollment. Tell me again how cutting the faculty is going to save us money?
Not enough faculty members mean not enough student enrollments in the university, which will help eliminate the deficit, so why are we doing this?
Where is the logic?
Jessica Braverman, a third year English/Secondary Education major, stated, “I feel like it is a complete injustice to our education, and our future. I believe the programs won’t be as strong, so our degrees won’t be as worthy to a future employer,” Braverman said.
“I feel that most people come to ESU to experience small, intimate classes, which will be nearly impossible if the class sizes increase,” she emphasized.
Nicole Werrell, a third year Elementary Education major, gave a more positive view on the possible retrenchment.
“I encourage class sizes being larger. I feel like I have a lot more resources, and people to share and connect with.” she said. “I would not consider transferring if the retrenchment goes through. ESU is where I want to be. The only way I would transfer is if the Education Department is no longer here.”
The Administration was asked to state their opinion on the issue.
Provost Reidhead stated, “Like our faculty counterparts, we remain focused on providing our students with a high quality educational experience and preparing them for careers that are representative of the global workforce.
To do so, we need to close the budget gap by creatively restructuring departments and reducing our overhead in every way possible.”
What the Administration does not realize is that they are cutting the faculty to “save money” in order to seal the deficit.
How are you creating a high standard educational experience if you are cutting the faculty that can provide that for us?
In my opinion, by doing this they are creating a feel for the students that they did not come to East Stroudsburg University to get.
The President and her council need to listen to the students; we are the ones paying to be here after all. We love our teachers that are personal and know our names, and we love our small classrooms.
If we wanted a different experience that this possible retrenchment is going to create, we would’ve gone to a school that offered that.
If you are interested in helping your faculty and yourselves by saving your educational experience, you can go to change.org/petitions/stop-the-cuts-at-esu and electronically sign!
Every signature counts so speak up and help keep your professors where they belong. This is YOUR education that is being affected!
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