The University is in crisis. And not just our university. The University System. Public higher-education itself.
This crisis is not caused by the global recession. Rather, it is caused by the the leadership of our educational institutions, who have cynically used the pretense of financial pressure to pursue their own narrow agendas.
Through their decisions (eliminating faculty and programs while continuing unnecessary large-scale construction projects; laying off custodians while giving athletic coaches massive raises), university policymakers have made it clear that their priorities share little in common with those of the teachers, students, and workers who make our school great.
LSU has already sent one year notices of non-renewal to 244 instructors and slashed several programs. Tuition raises and fee increases are surely next on the agenda.
These decisions were not made democratically, but by unelected administrators and bureaucrats. We – the students, teachers, and workers of LSU – demand a voice in the discussions that will shape our institution.
And we are not alone. All across the world similar groups of students, teachers, and workers have begun to say that enough is enough. Over the past year strikes, protests, and sit-ins have temporarily shut down schools in England, Austria, New York, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, and elsewhere.
We will not be silenced: these are OUR universities. The problems facing LSU are not isolated, but global. The new student movement to save education must also be international.
The call has gone out for an International Strike and Day of Action in defense of education for Thursday March 4, 2010. Students, faculty, and staff of LSU will of course participate. On this day, we are calling on all LSU professors to cancel class, all students to skip class, and all workers to call in sick. Instead of business as usual, we will begin a constructive discussion about the future of our school – a discussion that is ours to have.
Please email email@example.com if you want to help with some part of this day (rally, picket, teach-in, sit-in, music, food, etc.).