We are members of the Stamford faculty who are writing to express grave concern about the implementation of the "common schedule" in Spring 2016.
We believe there is not enough time to carry out this change without damaging the balance that makes the Stamford campus work. The faculty has not been part of the decision-making process. More important, neither have our students. The Provost's office has not consulted Stamford students about the effects of this change on their ability to attend courses and to graduate on time. Protecting Stamford students' interests and the quality of our academic offerings must be the university's primary concerns in making such a momentous change.
1. Almost all of our students have heavy work schedules and/or family responsibilities. They choose Stamford over Storrs for its location in a vital urban corridor, lower cost, and flexible scheduling in a wide range of courses and programs. Our once-weekly and twice-weekly class schedule is a large factor contributing to the attraction of the Stamford Campus.
2. Compared to the Storrs student profile, Stamford students by and large face long commuting times because of distance and traffic. More frequent trips to campus will impose a heavy financial burden on students related to out-of-pocket travel expense and lost work hours due to extra travel time.
3. Our campus majors and programs have a much larger component of contingent faculty who work at several locations with long commuting times. It has been increasingly difficult to find qualified part-time faculty to staff courses. The "common schedule" will worsen this situation to the detriment of our students.
4. We have been told we have the option of incorporating more online and blended courses, but without allowing us enough time to confer with our departments, orenough time to acquire the training necessary to design high-quality online components or entire courses. These factors make this "choice" no choice at all.
Therefore, considering the strong likelihood that hasty action will damage both our students and our academic standards,we ask you to support a one semester moratorium on imposing the new schedule. During this period the Storrs Administration should work with the Stamford Student Government Association, the Stamford Faculty and the Stamford Staff to develop modifications that accommodate the mutual interests of the Stamford Campus and the Storrs Campus.
We, members of the Stamford faculty, ask that you join us in support this request.