Welcome to a new academic year! As the first full week of the semester gets underway and you dive into your books and focus on your classes, we want you to know that for your professors your education is job #1. You’re why we’re here. And while we don’t want to be presumptuous, we think you’re here because you want to work closely with professors in small classes.
We see troubling signs, however, about DePauw’s willingness to invest in its core academic mission. We know it’s impolite to talk about money. But we’re seeing things on campus that should raise concern. We see expert staff abruptly leaving, fewer faculty being hired and email requests to hold bigger classes. Like you, we see new buildings going up, but not the one we need most: a remodeled, 21st century library.
We also see student tuition going up and faculty compensation going down. In a year of booming stock indexes and the best job market in over a decade, faculty members received a one percent pay raise, which was more than wiped out by inflation and increased insurance costs. In the latest edition of The DePauw Magazine, we see that a generous donor has committed $20 million dollars, but that not one penny of that will go to scholarships for students or to DePauw’s core academic programs (page 6).
As we all turn to focus on education at the start of the semester, we’re reminded that DePauw’s educational mission depends on its academic programs. We, the faculty, want the university to be a place that lives up to its branding rhetoric. That means matching this rhetoric to long-term policies that ensure the financial stability of these programs. Will you be affected this semester by the shift in funding priorities that we are seeing? No.
Your professors are absolutely committed to your educational success. But a sustainable future for DePauw requires sustained investments in its core academic mission. For this University to continue to be an amazing place to learn, work, and live, DePauw must move forward by funding and focusing on the central work of its academic programs. It’s why we’re all here.
Concerned Faculty Members