April 19, 2010
Dear Mr. Paul Tobias,
Having graduated from Albion College only a year ago, I feel my heart and mind are still at home there. This being the case, I have kept myself informed of the recent goings-on there on campus—namely, of the ill-conceived notion that reducing the number of faculty positions by ten and now nearly twenty percent will improve the schools fiscal situation and, in effect, create a more stable and efficient learning environment. The decisions being made by the Board of Trustees are saddening and, by my perspective as a recent alumna (as by so many others as students and teachers), simply intolerable.
The faculty are the reason I enrolled at Albion; when doubtful of my future there, the faculty were why I stayed; after graduating, the sense of pride in my degree was because of the faculty who helped me achieve it. Now that I find the faculty are not valued by the Board of Trustees and the President (of course, it will be argued that they do, that “desperate times call for desperate measures,” and any number of other empty clichés to that effect) I find it difficult to summon any pride or pleasure in naming my Alma Mater. Albion College is (was) a Liberal Arts institution of higher education, and it is (was) its outstanding faculty that make (made) it successful at producing inquisitive, insightful, career-ready students as well as competitive with other institutions of its (former) nature.
I write this letter not with spite or anger (alright, maybe a little anger) but more accurately with a grieving shock, as though I’d just discovered the betrayal of a once loyal friend. I know I am not the only one who feels betrayed in this way; perhaps these others have voiced their reactions, too. I write to ask you to listen. I write to ask you to reconsider the ramifications of these decisions. I write to show that my education and my degree matter to me, that I won’t let their integrity slip without a word of protest.
Angela Zito, Albion ’09