The Free Press
December 10th, 2014
A petition has been published online representing the wishes of
scholars and teachers all over the world to reverse the cuts and restart
the process of addressing USM’s projected $16 million budget deficit.
So far the petition has over 300 signatures on it.
This petition comes as a response to the recent sanction by the
American Association of University Professors, that casts USM as an
institution that blocks access to academic freedom. According to AAUP
members like Howard Bunsis, an accounting professor from the University
of Eastern Michigan, USM’s administration has violated guidelines that
were set out in their statement of principles on academic freedom and
Bunsis also believes that the elimination of five academic programs
and 50 faculty members was implemented as a way to raise money for the
metropolitan rebranding instead of to combat the budget deficit. The
petition letter states that the rationale behind the cuts should be
questioned citing USM’s solid reserves, annual operating cash surpluses
and a very high bond rating.
According to the signers of the petition, the term “metropolitan
university” is just an ambiguous buzzword and USM may actually be in
strong financial condition.