No support, no confidence

When Emory announced the cuts in September, tenured and tenure-track faculty in the departments being obliterated were told the university would make sure they were re-settled in other departments smoothly and efficiently. That has not been the case.

Faculty members in the ILA, Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures (REALC), and Visual Arts have received minimal if any attention from the administration. One professor reports that the only personal contact he had with Dean Forman was on September 14, the day of the announcement. Another, a department head, reports that Forman came to his office only once, and then only to apologize. Other departments (Comparative Literature, English, and WGSS, among others) don’t have official guidelines as to how many new faculty they can absorb or whether they will have the resources to support new members.

It boils down to this: Professors who are already struggling to “wind down” their departments and make sure current students are treated fairly, on top of the ongoing duties of teaching, service and trying to advance their own careers (many are junior faculty), are also responsible for re-placing themselves. There is no structure in place that would ensure negotiations will be fair and open. For these professors, the spectre of forced (nudged?) early retirement looms large. Dean Tedesco did suggest it as an option in her first letter, and another faculty member notes that’s been her M.O. in the past.

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