ARCATA, Calif. (KIEM)- The California Faculty Association at Humboldt State University is calling on the school to hold off on some proposed budget cuts.
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for HSU, its students, faculty and staff.
So, the university is considering cutting classes across nearly all departments because of the decline in enrollment over the past few years.
“It’s going to impact their education both the way I just mentioned about just the loss of quality lecturers but also classes, I think, is going to get bigger and there’s going to be fewer choices for them and it’s going to be hard to get classes,” said Benjamin Shaeffer, Chairman of the California Faculty Association.
The CFA says that HSU is taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic by pushing through unnecessary budget cuts and shifting HSU values.
“The education of students is intimately linked to the morale and security of staff and faculty,” said Shaeffer. “So, I think, you know, what CFA is saying if those are your budget principles and yet what is happening is that tons of lecturers are being put out on the streets in the middle of a pandemic and it’s morally problematic.”
The president of the CFA says that the bread and butter of the university are the professors who helped HSU pivot to virtual instruction during the beginning of the pandemic.
“If you start cutting in our classes and cutting teachers, lecturers and professors you’re cutting at the core of the university, right, what we do best,” said Loren Cannon, President of the California Faculty Association. “I think that destabilizes the university itself.”
So, the CFA at Humboldt State offers an alternative to HSU’s plan.
“There are models throughout the county, I’m thinking the University of Arizona, such that they have had graduated cuts in the administrative ranks that are temporary, not permanent and that allow the school to weather a difficult time,” said Cannon. “We’re in a global pandemic, these are not usual times but it’s not time to summarily dismiss so many teachers and permanently cut so many classes for our students.”