August 11th, 2014
As liberal-arts colleges around the country face financial woes and skepticism about the value of their degrees, rumblings of distress are emerging from arts-and-sciences professors at even one of the nation's most elite schools: Columbia University.
Debate over the school's funding for its arts-and-sciences programs heated up in May, when more than a dozen faculty members wrote a letter to university president Lee Bollinger saying their "obligations cannot be fulfilled given present levels of support."
Grievances range from outdated science labs and undersupported research sabbaticals to inadequate faculty staffing levels. Some professors have expressed concern that the school's resource-allocation decisions favor its pre-professional schools like law and medicine.