Music chair resigns seat after 12 classes are cut


Brandon Arcari, Assistant Breaking News Editor

Following several cuts to music and dance courses, department chair D. Thomas Toner stepped down from his position Nov. 10.

The cuts come following an email sent to Toner from the office of the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Nov. 8.

“The cuts happened to us because we have a lot of part-time faculty and full-time faculty could not be cut at this point in the year,” Toner said. “We rely on so many part-time faculty because we try to offer a broad range of classes with top-notch faculty.”

Senior Mia Fishkin, a dance minor, said the cuts concerned her.

“I share Toner’s view that this is completely ridiculous,” Fishkin said. “I don’t see how they can justify canceling these classes days before registration. What if seniors need these classes to graduate with their degrees? It’s also unfair to the professors.”

CAS Dean William Falls said he was saddened by Toner’s resignation.

“[Toner] has been a very strong chair and college leader, and I truly appreciate his many years,” Falls said.

Toner wrote to students in his department to explain his decision to resign.

“Though I have high regard for the dean and his team, I find the manner in which this was done tremendously upsetting,” Toner stated in the email. “I have protested as strongly as I could with little result. I cannot sit idly by and by construed to be even mildly okay with this.”

Toner said he is resigning because of the decision to cut courses, not out of anger at the dean.

“I have tremendous respect for him [Falls] and his team,” Toner said. “It’s just that I think this was a bad decision that has ramifications that could hurt our department, and I couldn’t continue to be a part of that.”

A total of 12 of the 63 classes taught by part-time faculty in CAS have been cut, according to United Academics, the University’s faculty union.

UA also issued a statement Nov. 1 condemning the cancelation of the 12 courses.

Six of the classes cut were in Toner’s department, music and dance. Other cuts were made in artistic disciplines, including a theatre class on Shakespeare scene study.

“What UA objects to is that there has been no discussion or public admission of this policy that is forcing the last-minute cancelation of classes by CAS,” UA stated Nov. 1.

UA does not promote some colleges over others but supports transparency in decision-making and faculty governance of the academic affairs of the University, according to the statement.