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Contract university teachers have few employment rights

December 1, 2014

Editor,  Ohio State Alumni Magazine

2200 Olentangy River Rd., Columbus, Ohio 43210-1035

Dear Editor,

It is good to see a thorough rendering of the position of the TBDBITL Club on the firing of OSUMB director Jonathon Waters printed in the Alumni magazine.  A few years ago there was almost no coverage in this magazine of the circumstances surrounding the resignation of football coach Jim Tressel even though there was much interest among Alumni.  I see this as an improvement in communication of controversial issues at OSU in the magazine.   

While I have been deeply disappointed and saddened by the University’s ill-advised action in the Waters case, and expect there will continuing developments, I’d like to highlight in particular just one aspect of the situation.

Mr. Waters was summarily dismissed without due process and University administrators claim they have every right to do that as Mr. Waters was not a faculty member.  Being a contract employee carries few employee rights, apparently.  Over the years many large universities, including Ohio State, have hired contract teachers for an increasing number of undergraduate classes despite increasingly high tuition for undergrads.  These contract teachers tend to have no regular employment, so have uncertain and generally low income.   Perhaps this relates to the fact that state legislatures have seen fit to significantly lessen their financial commitment to public, so-called “state” universities.  But at the same time OSU and other large universities have apparently increased the number of high paid administrators who neither teach nor do research.  It would appear the University saw Mr. Waters as an easy target.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller, ’64, ’66 (OSUMB ’60-’64)

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