Florida State faculty group fights budget cuts

U-Wire and U-Wire

With the budget cuts caused by the national economic crisis, education and other public services have been hard hit. The statistics facing public schooling and Florida State University in particular are alarming – in the coming year the university stands to lose 10 to 15 percent of its budget compared to the 8 percent cut from the 2008-09 year. The $35 million at stake will impact all aspects of the university, from class sizes to quality of faculty and grounds maintenance. A group of faculty members at FSU active in the United Faculty of Florida union came together several months ago to discuss the possibility of taking action about this issue. The coalition they formed, Fate of the State, has organized a march to the Capitol building as well as a teach-in to take place today. The rally and teach-in aim to persuade the Florida legislature of the importance of preserving the quality of higher education in Florida. ‘Our goals are to impact the legislature because they’re the ones who are making bad decisions and don’t have their priorities right, and they’re the ones that have to change their minds and do something about this situation,’ said Daniel Vitkus, an associate professor in the English department and one of the founders of Fate of the State. The rally will assemble at 11 a.m. in front of the Westcott building on campus and will march down College Avenue and Duval Street to reach the Capitol building, where they will gather at the west entrance for the teach-in, which will take place at 12:15 p.m. In addition to the rally, there will be a radio show on WVFS 89.7 FM from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday night.