I love Students of Western Illinois University

I attended the WIU university assembly, where I heard the message that if you dissent from the decisions of this administration, you don’t appreciate our students.

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Many faculty held up signs like this one at today’s assembly:  No More Faculty Layoffs

WIU students are the reason I continue this blog.

WIU students are the reason I want my job back.

WIU students are my students.

I miss my WIU students.

WIU students are the reason I dissent.

WIU students deserve an imaginative and critical education.

WIU students deserve tenured professors.

WIU students are dear to my heart.

I love many things about WIU students, but one is that they are first generation college students.

I also love it that WIU students have become more diverse over the last decade.

WIU remains less diverse than our counterparts–like SIU Carbondale or NIU.  In fact, when compared to the general population of the state of Illinois, non-Hispanic white students are actually over-represented at WIU.  In other words, if the “real world” is to be described in terms of the diversity of population demographics, then WIU is not yet the “real world,” but we are close.

In 2015 when I was laid off after working for many years with the promise of tenure, I was very hurt and angry, but I’ve had ample time to feel my own pain and to evaluate my career at WIU.  Now I know this:

I want to work at the historical WIU that meets the standards of a university, that not only states values of  equality, social justice, and academic rigor on its website, but works to close (not widen) the gap between those stated values and our current  policies and practices.

I want to work at the WIU that provides a general education that is deep and broad enough to prepare students to be citizens who value democracy.

A university educations that supports democracy is worth fighting for.  WIU students deserve it.

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Interim Admissions director Jason Woods spoke first at today’s university assembly.  President Jack Thomas, not visible here, must be sitting behind the podium.

 

 

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