On February 17th of 2023, President Jonathan Holloway released a Budget Address to the University concerning the university’s finances.
A recent article done by Rutgers- New Brunswick alum-adjunct professor Hank Kalet commented on the contents of the address. It sheds light onto a somewhat rocky narrative painted by Holloway.
Holloway notes that the update falls in between good and bad. The university has reached more than 25% of research revenue since 2020 as well as nine faculty named fellows and numerous students be awarded academic and research awards. All seems promising but Holloway notes the challenging times ahead due to “financial headwinds”.
Kalet comments that this language generates uncertainty in the direction of where the university is headed. Since June 30th, the faculty and staff unions at Rutgers have been without a contract. The Union and faculty are asking for change especially in the way the university is run. Often in order to cut costs, faculty and staff wages are brought down as they make up much of the academic budget.
Kalet says “This is about priorities. Holloway and those around him are prioritizing austerity for faculty and students, while telling a story of a “beloved community” that just does not exist at this point.”
Rutgers is just an example of the wrongs done by the corporate model. This isn’t just a faculty issue but a problem potentially affecting students. The uneasiness felt by faculty is undeniable and its no doubt that students will feel the effects of this uncertainty. We as students are reliant on the aid of our professors and staff so by not providing them job security, to say the least it is troubling. How can we expect our professors to teach under severe circumstances? Who is to say that these cuts will stop at just lower wages for staff but limiting course selections and resources available on campus?
By keeping informed on the issue and raising awareness, this will keep the conversation ongoing and put a spotlight on the university to provide for their staff. For more information on the issue, please visit https://hankkalet.substack.com/ and https://rutgersaaup.org/. This is our fight, we stand with our professors and staff.
In recent news, the Rutgers AAUP-AFT is asking to cast votes to strike authorization for a fair contract for its faculty and staff. They are organizing two important panel discussions titled “Solidarity Beyond the University” and “Solidarity Within the University” that will be live-streamed on the union’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RUaaup.