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American Association of University Professors

Faculty and Students Discuss Damage Created by Mass Layoffs at The University of Akron

AKRON, OHIO, SEPTEMBER 15, 2020- In this video we learn how the decision to relieve educators of their responsibilities at The University of Akron (UA) has impacted the lives of many. On July 15, 2020 ninety six faculty and many staff members were let go from the college, receiving this devastating news just weeks before the fall semester was set to begin. These professors have dedicated their lives to teaching. They have put countless hours of loyalty and dedication into making sure students got the most out of their education, yet these mentors have been escorted right out the door. Many programs currently rest on the shoulders of adjunct professors yet administration insists the programs are still fully functional.


As it is with many school and university budget cuts the arts programs are always the first to take major hits. This circumstance is no different. The Dance, Theater, and Arts Administration Program has continued to struggle with UA’s Administration refusing to replace retired faculty members, budget cuts and full program restructuring. Now the university has threatened to remove the last remaining performance and production faculty and staff members in one fell swoop. From tenured professors to set builders and costume designers, this decision has completely gutted the program and the lives of everyone involved. In this video we reminisce with faculty and students on classes and productions of the past and how the program has affected their lives.


The Performing Arts School at The University of Akron has had a boundless impact on the vastly growing Akron Arts Community. UA students teach and perform with local theaters and dance companies, they even work with K-12 students interested in a variety of career choices offered in the performing arts. Now is definitely not the time to be cutting education especially in the arts, where growing students are encouraged to express their views and develop their own artistic voice. During this plight many things are uncertain but a sliver of hope does remain for the fired faculty, and a final decision regarding this issue will be made on Friday September 18, 2020.


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