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LETTER: Much at stake for students in FA, CMU negotiations

I appreciate your "students lose" headline because I believe students need to realize just how much of a stake they have in the current negotiations and that the significance of what is occurring goes well beyond the temporary confusion surrounding any missed classes.

I believe students clearly lose if CMU cannot recruit and retain the best possible faculty.

I believe students clearly lose if CMU shifts its priorities away from undergraduate and graduate teaching and learning to a medical college, a fancy events center, and new buildings.

I believe students clearly lose if CMU acquires a national reputation not for educational excellence, but for mismanagement, poor leadership, and the lack of a clear vision.

And frankly I believe students clearly lose if they see their teachers and mentors and advisers getting trampled down by an administration that is attempting to exploit anti-union headwinds and Michigan’s financial distress to attack the faculty union and ram an unfair contract down their throats not out of financial necessity, but purely because they feel they can.

One of the most powerful lessons students can take from the current situation is the necessity of standing up for what they think is right.

In my opinion, the faculty would be unfit to teach here if they didn’t fight for what they so clearly deserve, fight to keep CMU's priorities focused on teaching and learning, fight to attract and retain the best possible faculty, and fight to make the educational experience here at CMU matter to the fullest.

With that in mind, I hope students will weigh the possible short-term confusion and distress of canceled classes against the long-term ramifications of faculty attrition, faculty dissatisfaction, and a diminished CMU reputation.

And this is why I hope the students will come out and support their faculty — because it is about your education and getting the most for your money. Together students and faculty are Central.

- Jeffrey Weinstock, Professor of English