Category Archives: Updates

Statement on Discontinuation of Multi-year Contracts for Contingent Faculty

On October 12, 2020, the Whitman College chapter of the AAUP issued this statement on the discontinuation of multi-year contracts for contingent faculty. From the statement: “We believe that the College’s decision to abandon established practice by eliminating multi-year contracts for qualified and essential contingent faculty, including athletic coaches is short-sighted at best.”

Facts About the Budget and the Endowment

To inform the faculty’s reasoning about budget-related matters at the time of pandemic-related austerity, AAUP chapter members have put together two fact sheets. They are based on publicly available information about school budgets and the college’s endowment. The fact sheets are:

Transparency Letter to the College President and Her Cabinet

On August 3, 2020, the AAUP chapter sent a Transparency Letter to the college’s president and her cabinet. Based on research by the chapter’s “budget cuts” group, the letter aimed to promote transparency in administration-faculty communications, to solicit information needed by the faculty to understand important decisions being made by the administration, and to request due consultation with the faculty leadership on all decisions. The Transparency Letter contained three specific requests for information. It was circulated to the faculty at large.

Equity Letter to the Chair of the Faculty and the President’s Cabinet

On August 2, 2020, the AAUP chapter sent the faculty chair an Equity Letter with a request that it be presented to the college president and her cabinet. The letter reflected on the administration’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and associated budgetary concerns. It asserted the principles of shared governance and that consultation with the faculty on measures that affect the college’s mission is essential. The letter contained specific recommendations on how to make any budgetary adjustments equitable to minimize disparities and protect the Whitman student experience. The Equity Letter was circulated to the faculty at large.