Faculty and class cuts are the wrong solution for budget cuts

Courtney Schuna, Columnist

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Courtney Schuna

It’s no secret that faculty workloads are set to increase next year due to budget cuts here at UW Oshkosh. The biggest question in response to this is how this is going to affect the students’ education on campus.

UWO senior Jessica Dybul said she does not believe the increased workloads are a positive change for the students here at UWO.

“I think that it will affect us negatively because our professors will have less time and energy to meet with us,” Dybul said. “The professors could also get stressed by a heavy load and not be able to put as much time preparing for our classes as they used to.”

UWO alumna Shannon Berg said this change will negatively affect students’ education.

“Fewer adjuncts means higher credit loads for full-time faculty to teach,” Berg said. “But those extra however-many credits, whether it’s three, six, or nine extra credits per full-time faculty member in addition to the nine to 12 credits they’re already teaching, faculty will be spread thin with their time and energy.”

Cutting professors and increasing workloads should not be the answer to solving the issue of the budget cuts.

“I do not think that they should make cuts that are going to interfere with our quality of education,” Dybul said.

“In the long term, I don’t think it’s an effective solution for budget cuts because as I said, I don’t foresee this being a sustainable solution only with full-time Letters and Science faculty teaching excessive courseloads,” Berg said. “Not all, but some of them may leave for more competitive positions or even less fulfilling work if it means they’d be treated properly and not treated like robotic teaching machines.”

The issue of budget cuts isn’t solely in the hands of the UWO officials, but rather a bigger governmental issue.

“I do understand that this is not what the University of Oshkosh would’ve chosen if they thought they had a better option,” Berg said. “I do think the solution lies not in the hands of University officials; this falls directly into the hands of the Wisconsin state government and leaders who view post-secondary education as a means to an end: get the degree then become a meaningful contributor to the state economy.”

Dybul said she agrees that the solution to the budget cuts is with the state legislature and with the campus officials.

“I think that the governor should bring back all the state funding that [Walker] cut from the UW System in 2014,” Dybul said. “Furthermore, we should increase tuition and fees by a very little amount each year, maybe by $100 or $200, to prevent these cuts from happening.”

If UWO goes down the path it’s going, we will lose many great staff members to other schools because of the heavy workloads the school is providing.