NTFC Local #6546, the union representing full-time non-tenure track (NTT) faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, stands in full solidarity with Columbia Faculty Union (CFAC), the union representing NTT faculty at Columbia College Chicago, as they fight to hold the line against austerity cuts about to be imposed by the Columbia College administration.
As has recently been reported, Columbia College leadership is proposing cutting class offerings made available to NTT faculty, increasing class sizes, and denying health benefits to these faculty, in efforts to ameliorate a budget deficit. What had originally been presented as “strategic” budgeting is now being described using terms like “crisis” in efforts to avoid negotiating with CFAC and to shift the burdens of this budgeting onto NTT faculty, who may be asked to “manage” large classes rather than teach within their expertise.
NTFC knows well the dangers of budgets that diminish quality instruction by increasing class sizes, overworking NTTs, and not allowing faculty to shape the education they know best. Both faculty and students suffer under such systems, as faculty working conditions are student learning conditions.
NTFC urges the administration of Columbia College to take seriously the concerns of its core NTT faculty and engage with CFAC in good faith, even in the trying budget situation the College finds itself in.