Today is Convocation at The University of Akron – a day where we gather together to look forward to the new year and meet the new students we will teach, mentor, and watch flourish in the upcoming years.
But this Convocation is a grim day, for it is the last official day for all the “RIFed” faculty. Ninety-seven faculty with over 1,600 years of experience at The University of Akron were let go based on apocalyptic budget scenarios which simply haven’t come true. In the next day or two, you can read the arbitration brief Akron-AAUP has submitted detailing all the ways this was unjust and unnecessary. We mourn the loss of these colleagues as we celebrate the students who deserve so much better than the fractured campus they’ll be stepping onto.
None of us asked for this, especially not our laid off colleagues. Please take a moment to reach out to them, ask for their personal email, or just say that you enjoyed nurturing young and inquisitive minds with them. We hope to bring them back, but until then, your kindness and compassion can be a balm.
See video from President Pamela Schulze here.