This is the letter we distrinuted to the Board of Trustees on December 6, 2011:
Dear Distinguished Members of the Columbia Board of Trustees:
We are members of Columbia College’s staff, faculty and student body. We are gathered here today to challenge the choices that the College is making in its continuing prioritization campaign.
In particular we are concerned that the College’s prioritization program has failed to take into account the very people who have helped make Columbia College an academic and cultural success.
Students now find that many course options have been cut and many class credits reduced–making it harder to graduate in the normal amount of time. Student aides have been laid off in a number of departments. This poses a financial hardship for these students, and leaves other students without adequate services. Students have seen tuition increases greatly outpace inflation; yet none of this newly generated income is to be allocated to the dedicated members of the faculty and staff.
Qualified and experienced part-time faculty members have seen their classes pared back, and their job security come under constant threat.
Staff members who perform above the call of duty and take on the work of former co-workers are denied any extra compensation and forced to accept a wage freeze for reasons that the College refuses to explain.
The College’s prioritization campaign promised transparency and the active involvement of all campus groups. This has not happened. The College has said they are forced to make difficult choices, but they refuse to explain what these choices are. Students are the reason that we are all here, but they have been thoroughly left out of the prioritization process.
For these reasons, we urge the Board of Trustees to take immediate action to ensure that Columbia’s students, faculty and staff members are the administration’s first priority.