Anonymous letter calls for more humanities funding

An anonymous email has been sent to UVM promising rallies and riots over funding for arts and humanities.

Several pictures of an email were posted Nov. 29 on a popular UVM parents Facebook page.

The message has been reportedly sent by a student on behalf of other students from the humanities, arts and language departments at UVM, according to the email.

The email condemns UVM for incorrectly allocating funds to other departments in STEM fields and funding for a new $96 million multipurpose center, according to the email.

The author demands new professors be hired to increase the availability of more courses that many need but are not being offered, the email stated.

Specifically, the email cites a lack of Russian history professors which has caused the University to cut classes and put some Russian majors behind, the email stated.

The Royall Tyler Theatre independently fundraised enough money to build a new theater but that the University “stole” the funds, the email stated.

The email demanded that a new theater be built and is willing to discuss the demands with University administrators, the email stated.

A student close to the writer or writers of the email said students are planning to meet with the assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at some point this week.

The student declined to provide their name fearing repercussion from University officials and parents in the UVM Facebook group, they said.

In November 2017, UVM cut a dozen classes taught by assistant professors in the College of Arts and Science, according to a Nov. 18 Cynic article.

In early 2018, the College of Arts and Sciences nearly eliminated 25 percent of all full-time, non-tenured faculty and 40 percent of part-time, non-tenured faculty, according to a Jan. 21 VTDigger article.

David Rosowsky, provost and senior vice president of UVM, responded to criticism in a 2017 Cynic letter to the editor, stating he and President Tom Sullivan stand behind the humanities.

“Recently, we have invested in a number of projects of direct benefit to the humanities including the Billings Library, the Taft School, Royall Tyler Theatre, Wheeler Barn and Southwick,” the letter stated.

The University approved the building of a $100 million STEM facility in 2015, according to an April 2015 Cynic article.

The building was the most expensive project ever approved by the UVM board of trustees, according to the article.

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