Recently the University announced Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Phillip Way’s solution to retrenchment – the “third way”.
As stated by the Provost, the first option to deal with the University’s deficit would be retrenchment, and the second would be pulling from the budgetary reserves, which the administration isn’t allowed to do at such a large extent, and the new plan is the “third way”.
Way’s “way” is comprised of faculty and administration working together to protect positions, transferring some members of the faculty and working together to try to increase recruitment, retention, and grant money, in order to guarantee there’s more resources to cover the University’s costs.
“It’s a win-win situation rather than one side winning and the other side losing,” Way said.
The idea behind the third way is that the administration and faculty will participate in extra initiatives to bring money to the university, and in exchange, there will be no retrenchment for certain faculty members.
We only see one problem with the whole plan.
Professors generally have Ph. D’s in a certain field, and also have professional experience in that given field.
So why would the University transfer a professor who is arguably unqualified to teach specific classes unrelated to their field?
The University has offered to provide retraining to professors who are being transferred, but in our opinion that still does not make up for the loss of real world experience in a given profession.
Part of the appeal of SRU, unlike other large universities, is that real professors teach the majority of classes and not teaching assistants.
A teaching assistant in a certain field could potentially be more qualified than a professor from a completely unrelated field.
Also, by having unqualified professors teaching key classes in any given major program, it is effecting the equality of the students’ education.
The sharing of experiences and what it is really like to work as a professional in a given career wouldn’t exist.
What if the foundation of our ‘Rock Solid Education’ begins to crumble?
We hope the use of transfers are used sparingly, and that it doesn’t get to that point.