The Oberlin Review

Salary Freeze Incites Faculty Concern

Christian Bolles, Editor-in-Chief

December 8, 2017

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Editor’s Note: The letter referenced in this article has been published in full under “Letters to the Editors” in this issue’s Opinions section. As the Board of Trustees convenes this weekend, freezes to non-union salaries remain a key concern among faculty and staff. The freezes were instituted last year and maintained as a result of a $5 million immediate budget deficit and long-term structural deficit disclosed to faculty and staff June 14. After the announcement of the freezes, James Monroe Professor of Politics Chris Howell and Nathan A. Greenberg Professor of Classics Kirk Ormand wrote a letter July 17 — obtained by the Review this week — in response to Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan...

Faculty Salaries at Oberlin College

Chris Howell and Kirk Ormand

December 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: Below is an email sent July 17, 2017 to Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan by College Professors Chris Howell and Kirk Ormand. The Review is publishing it in full, with minor changes to style. Dear Mr. Canavan: Thank you for your communication this spring, in which you explained Oberlin’s current financial crisis and the board’s decision to freeze salaries next year. While we recognize the seriousness of our current situation, we find it inadequate and depressing that neither the board nor the administration has the leadership or imagination to address this crisis in any way other than by eliminating raises for faculty and staff. Allow us to review a bit of recent history. At its June...

Students Must Advocate for Departments, Programs

Editorial Board

September 15, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In the throes of a budgetary crisis, it’s time for Oberlin students to rally behind their academic departments. With some tenure-track positions only temporarily replaced by visiting faculty, facilities set for understaffing, and the threat of more cuts in the future, it is vital that students voice which positions and programs matter to them. We have the ability to hold Oberlin accountable to its values by reinforcing what the College means to us, but we can only define our experience if we take the initiative to do so. Last September, the Review published the article “Program Cuts Leave Film Students With Questions,” (Sept. 16, 2016), concerning the woeful understaffing of the Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman C...

Enrollment Drop Creates Financial Shortfall

Sydney Allen and Alexis Dill

September 8, 2017

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Oberlin College is looking at a $5 million deficit heading into the 2017–18 academic year due to an unexpected drop in admissions. This not only strains budgets for the upcoming fiscal year, but also points toward a much larger budgetary issue that has been brewing under the surface for years. Newly-elected Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan, OC ’84, announced the news in an email to faculty and staff June 14. The email, leaked to the Review by anonymous sources, was sent just a few weeks before Canavan officially took office, replacing six-year board member Clyde McGregor, OC ’74. “Although we had already reduced budgets across the institution for next year, this shortfall in student charges will ge...

Exclusive Governance Fails Students

Editorial Board

September 8, 2017

Filed under Editorials, OPINIONS

In an email from this past summer announcing to faculty and staff that Oberlin’s revenues would fall well short of targets and create a deficit of $5 million, incoming Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Canavan, OC ’84, began with the salutation “To the Oberlin community.” It was a stroke of profound irony. For all that it contained — including discussion of decreased enrollment, sub-par student retention, a projected five percent budget shortfall over the next decade, and a salary freeze for the second consecutive year — the letter was most significant in what, or rather who, it omitted. Despite the grave financial implications for current and future students, we were never informed, and Ca...

“Financial Update From Chris Canavan ’84, Chair-elect, Board of Trustees”

Chris Canavan, OC ’84

September 8, 2017

Filed under Letters to the Editors, OPINIONS

Editor’s Note: The following is an email sent June 14, 2017 to the Oberlin College faculty and staff by the chair of the Board of Trustees. This was not submitted to the Review as a Letter to the Editors, but as it is addressed to the Oberlin community, we feel it appropriate to publish the text in full. To the Oberlin community: Oberlin’s Board of Trustees met last week. It was a bittersweet meeting because Oberlin is going through so many transitions. President Marvin Krislov will soon depart for Pace University. We bid farewell to Mike Frandsen, Sandhya Subramanian, and Debra Chermonte. But we also welcomed Oberlin’s 15th president, Carmen Ambar, and we’re lucky to have Alan Norton, Donica Varner...

Oberlin Brings in New Administrators, Departments

Sydney Allen, News Editor

September 1, 2017

Filed under Campus News, NEWS, Recent Stories

Changes in many of the top administrative positions and advising and academic servicing centers hint at the transitory nature of this school year, as community members old and new begin to get their bearings in a new Oberlin. The school’s administrative transitions began with former President Marvin Krislov’s announcement to depart Oberlin last fall. The presidency has since passed to Carmen Twillie Ambar, Oberlin’s first African American and second female president. However, some of the lesser-known departures could have an equally important effect on students’ daily lives and Oberlin’s future. Four other top administrators departed last semester as Krislov left to helm Pace University; Vice President...

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