To: Marty Meehan, President of the University of Massachusetts, Board of Trustees of the University of Massachusetts, UMass Boston Administration, The Massachusetts State House, and Governor Charlie Baker

Save UMass Boston and Its Urban Mission: NO to Increased Class Sizes, Tuition Hikes, and Cuts t...

The UMass Boston administration recently issued non-reappointment notices to nearly 400 adjunct faculty—approximately 1/3 of total faculty—for the Fall of 2016. The administration further announced plans to increase the student-to-faculty ratio by more than 20%, and indicated it may raise tuition or fees for the second consecutive year. Other possible cuts include reduced funding for student organizations, Masters programs, and essential services, from cleaning to shuttle buses—even as student enrollment continues to climb.

We, the undersigned students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and community allies urge the President of the University of Massachusetts, Marty Meehan, the Board of Trustees, the UMass Boston administration, our State Representatives and Governor Charlie Baker to respect the urban mission of our institution, to guarantee full funding for public higher education in our state, and to say NO to

*Increased class sizes
*Tuition hikes
*Faculty and staff cuts, and
*Reduced essential services

UMass Boston has a vital urban mission: to provide underserved and low-income students from Boston with an enriching academic experience. Students, faculty and staff, crucial to fulfilling this mission, should not be made to shoulder the burden of a deficit incurred as a result of stagnating state funding and other factors over which they have no control.

We call upon our leaders to preserve those things that are essential to UMass Boston, including its

*Relatively small classes
*Accessibility and affordability, and
*Support for the vital student services our diverse students need

As the only public university in the City of Boston and one of the great institutions for promoting equity in the Commonwealth, UMass Boston has a responsibility to serve its local communities and the historically under-privileged. We urge our leaders to resolve the current budget crisis without resorting to measures that will impair the urban mission—and the teaching soul—that defines us.

Leave the Student-Faculty Ratio Alone. No Increased Class Size, No Tuition Hikes, No Faculty or Staff Cuts!

Why is this important?

This petition was created in opposition to austerity measures announced by the UMass Boston administration in May 2016. Since then, some of these measures have been enacted, including a tuition hike of 5.7% (amounting to $753 for in-state students, more for out-of-state and international students) and cancellation of some previously scheduled courses. Moreover, the State Legislature passed only a minimal increase in funding--perpetuating its chronic underfunding of public higher education in Massachusetts. Although a number of non-tenure track faculty have been reappointed for the fall semester, the fight to save UMB is far from over. Further tuition hikes, increased class sizes, and cutbacks to faculty, staff, and programs are likely if we do not continue to advocate for UMB’s urban mission as well as full state funding of public higher education.