Editorial: Job cuts hurt more than they help

North Wind Staff

This week, as Northern students  filed back to class for another semester, a handful of professors have returned with the knowledge that next year, they will not be coming back.

The recent position cuts imposed by the administration are not a unique circumstance, especially in an industry faced with the challenge of offering a quality education while still remaining profitable.re-NWLogoSocialMedia

Still, the concept of highly educated teaching professionals being forced to work below their level of qualifications is unnerving and points to a growing problem in the field of higher education.

Now, more than ever, the business of finding quality positions teaching at the university level is increasingly competitive, and the average student loan debt carried by newly minted Ph.Ds is often astronomical.

The system of tenure has existed for a very long time in the American education system, offering college faculty a high degree of job security after putting in years of work. For many faculty, however, this reality is becoming harder to reach.

In spite of glowing performance reviews and an outpouring of support from former students, adjunct and term contract faculty are finding themselves out of work at NMU. They entered their jobs knowing full well what the limitations would be but still worked their tails off in the hope that one day they would be offered a more permanent position.

Now, they find themselves cast adrift in a sea of uncertainty. The questions abound: “How long will I be unemployed?” “How will I pay my student loans?” “What do I do next?”

Given the precariousness of the job market in teaching, could the administration not have found somewhere else to make cuts? Certainly, condensing course sections saves money, but it also offers less choice to the student and ultimately makes other schools more attractive.

Only time will tell whether these cuts will incite the direct opposite effect of what they were designed to produce.

The North Wind staff believes a little more compassion would have gone a long way in this situation. We believe when faculty feel more secure in their jobs they will perform better, leading to better education for all and a reputation that an increasingly ethics-minded generation of students will respect.