Carol Moore, the interim president of Guilford College in North Carolina, has announced plans to “phase out 19 of its 42 academic majors,” including philosophy, and “cut 27 faculty positions, or 30% of its full-time faculty,” according to the News & Record.
The cuts are aimed to address the budgetary fallout of “a decade of declining enrollment” and “recent construction spending [that] has ballooned the college’s debt to $73 million,” according to the News & Record. It was not clear which administrators at Guilford over the past decade had brought the college to the point at which dismemberment is seen as its best chance of survival.
The News & Record quotes Gail Webster, a chemistry professor at Guilford and co-president of the college’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) as describing the proposed cuts as “draconian” and “in direct opposition to shared governance and academic freedom, two principles that AAUP stands for. We are outraged.”
An effort is underway fight the cuts. Save Guilford College is collecting funds that “will be released to the College upon confirmation of financial transparency and good faith efforts to create a path forward for Guilford that’s in alignment with its mission and commitments to faculty and staff.” The creators of the fund write:
We share alarm over a new plan to remake the College’s identity. We find this plan contrary to the College’s mission and values. It has been developed without ethically or transparently engaging with those who work within the institution, nor with those who support the College from the outside. If implemented, this plan would alienate thousands of the College’s champions and deal a fatal blow to Guilford’s liberal arts curriculum.
The initiative also has a Facebook page.