February 20, 2006
We, members of Faculty Democracy, abhor the recent policy decisions taken by the President and the Provost regarding the penalties for striking Graduate Assistants that are scheduled to go into effect this Monday. Insofar as these decisions also affect academic matters such as evaluation of student work and assignment of teaching responsibilities within departments, they improperly encroach on the domain of faculty governance. If the administration proceeds with these unduly harsh and undemocratic policies, there will be consequences that may include, but are not limited to, the following: withholding grades, implementing a moratorium on the graduate admissions process, and informing prospective candidates for faculty positions, as well as those to whom offers are outstanding, of the administration’s persistent violations of faculty rights at NYU. We call on other faculty members and administrators to join us in pursuing these and other actions. In addition, there is an action you can take that would help prevent the administration from following through on its threats towards graduate assistants. A section canceled by a faculty member cannot legitimately be held to have failed to meet owing to the absence of a TA or preceptor. We therefore encourage faculty who hold classes with sections taught by TAs to unilaterally cancel all section meetings for lecture courses this week and indeed for the remainder of the semester. Those who choose to do so should be sure to notify all students in class so they do not waste their time by showing up, and their respective Dean’s office so administrators do not engage in needless surveillance work. We call on other faculty members and administrators to join us in pursuing these and other actions.