(Written by members of the Student Re-visioning Committee)
For Immediate Release
On September 14, Atlanta’s Emory University announced devastating cuts
to many of its flagship programs. These cuts, which are occurring
against the backdrop of a budget surplus and a $105-million growth in
the school’s $5.4 billion endowment, include the total elimination of
Emory’s renowned Division of Educational Studies, the Institute for
Liberal Arts, Journalism, and more. Three months of investigative
reporting by media on the Emory campus and beyond have revealed that
these cuts were enacted in secret, without any pretense of systematic
or transparent review, and in direct defiance of Emory’s own
governance protocols. Moreover, the administration’s own data reveals
that these cuts have a grossly disproportionate impact on minorities
and women – an effect which Emory’s Deans and President have either
chosen to ignore entirely or deliberately mischaracterize.
The Emory community has had enough. Over the past three months,
opponents of the cuts and those who simply have questions have
exhausted all available channels of appeal and grievance to no avail.
A cross-section of both student and faculty groups on campus have
raised a chorus of criticism only to have their motivations attacked
and their questions minimized. Time and again, the University has
doubled-down on the cuts without engaging in any candor whatsoever
about its decision-making processes – leaving Emory community members
with no other option than to see their leaders’ actions as the
products of racism, sexism, cronyism, and greed. But while the
administration wants to carry on with business as usual, the community
isn’t going to let them.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 4th, Emory will see its first campus-wide
work stoppage and walkout in forty years. Students, faculty, and staff
from both affected departments and others standing in solidarity with
them will converge on the quad to voice their outrage and demand
answers. A teach-in and protest unlike anything the campus has seen in
decades will bring home a clear message to the administrators who want
to hide from scrutiny: the Emory community rejects their cuts, demands
transparency, and will not move forward until they come clean.
Tuesday’s action represents a pivotal moment in the history of Emory,
and turnout is expected to be massive. Emory’s future, the future of
its engagement with the Atlanta community, and the future of tens of
thousands of Emory faculty, students, and staff hang in the balance.
For more information and background on the cuts at Emory, including an
archive of links to ongoing media coverage, visit the #EmoryCuts
Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/EmoryCuts) and the Stop the
Cuts at Emory Blog (http://www.stopthecutsemory.wordpress.com/).
Katherine Bryant, (404) 333-3555
Andrew Zonderman, (919) 559-4455