We, the elected leadership of United Academics of OSU, are outraged by the administration’s decision to pursue a $153 million stadium renovation project at this, of all moments.
OSU has laid off staff and demanded salary reductions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic even as it asks faculty, staff, and graduate employees to take on increased workloads to ensure students continue to receive a high-quality education and the support services they need.
For years, faculty and students have called for increased support for child care; student mental health services; and renovation of core classroom and lab spaces, some of which are in significant states of deterioration. Recently, our students have demanded additional resources for anti-racist education and support for BIPOC students, faculty, and staff, more funding for sexual assault services and prevention programs, and efforts to contain the rising cost of tuition and fees for students facing historic levels of debt.
Yet the administration has decided to supplement a $50 million anonymous donation with $68 million of the university’s funds to “improve the OSU fan experience at games” and “advance our competitiveness in the PAC-12 Conference,” according to OSU President F. King Alexander.
Since OSU tuition and state education revenue already directly subsidizes Athletics to the tune of $8 million annually and OSU projects about a $40 million deficit in its Corvallis education and general fund for 2020–2021, these are absurd priorities.
We urge OSU’s administration to reverse its decision and instead prioritize OSU’s core educational, research, and outreach missions.
Instructor (ESL) at INTO OSU