Furloughs and Privilege

Furlough days at Oregon State University plus privilege by Robert P Garrett

It was almost two weeks ago when the Oregon State University faculty senate voted for furloughs for all faculty (grant-supported salary is exempt) in 2010. It should be noted that the Oregon State University chapter of the American Association of University Professors “came out in support of furloughs provided that a number of important principles be included in the resolution.” I agree with the OSU AAUP’s suggestions. The top income tiers for furloughs need to be modified so that people who make more than $14,000 per month take more furlough days. If you make $168,000 pre-tax, I think you can handle a bit more of a cut. If you can’t make ends meet, then perhaps you should hire me to manage your finances.

Speaking of privilege…OSU Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Robert P. Garrett, decided that the best way to address the furlough situation was to attack Oregon State’s multicultural support programs via a letter in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. According to “Bobby,” OSU’s programs that support underrepresented and/or historically marginalized groups represent a redundant financial burden on our predominantly white campus. In summary, a white male professor on a mostly white campus says that there are just too many campus groups that support women, people of color, and LGBT folks. I wonder how many groups/organizations/offices at OSU are made up of a majority of straight white men. Anecdotally, I would offer that there are a lot…more in fact, than the “redundant” orgs of which Robert writes.

Here are few of the choicest bits from Robert P. Garrett’s letter with a few added thoughts from yours truly:

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Canada apologizes for past injustices

Canada will apologize for a policy that forced native children into boarding schools in an effort over a century ago to “civilize” and assimilate the nation’s indigenous population into mainstream culture and religion, the Los Angeles Times recently reported.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will offer an expiation on behalf of the schools and will ask more than 150,000 students and their descendants to consider forgiving the country.

Sixty-year old Thomas Louttit was forced to attend one of the dozens of residential schools for eight years. He told the Times that children were assigned numbers for an identity, sexually abused and terrorized, thus leaving many scarred as adults. Many of Louttit’s friends committed suicide or battled alcohol abuse.

The federal government has already begun payouts from its $1.9 billion compensation fund for natives, the Times reported. Yet for many, monetary compensation is not enough. Dr. Roland Chrisjohn, director of the Native Studies program at St. Thomas University in Saskatchewan, said these schools and their affiliated churches must confront the truth.

“The important thing is that they own up to what they did, admit that it is unconscionable, and it was genocide,” Chrisjohn said.

The last residential school was shut down 12 years ago, decades after some of the first schools were built. In 1996, a federal commission determined that the schools were detrimental to the native population and outlined a program of healing and redress.

via Diverse Issues in Higher Education.