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Academy For Equality supports the fight of the teaching and research faculty of Tel Aviv University against widespread layoffs in the humanities

Updated: Jun 14

This month we were informed that the management of the Faculty of Humanities at Tel Aviv University plans to fire 10.5% of the non-tenure-track teaching staff (the "junior") and to significantly reduce (another 4%) the scope of positions for members of this faculty, a move that will affect 39 female employees. These plans were promoted without updating the representative organization, the teaching and research faculty organization. On May 28, 2024, we wrote to the heads of Tel Aviv University to implore them not to make this mistake.

We joined the demand of the teaching and research faculty organization that the management of Tel Aviv University provide accurate and complete data regarding the drop in enrollment, which is the most severe among the universities; Regarding the amount of cuts in the last decade; And regarding the budgetary situation of the faculty. We also call for a discussion of the faculty's budgeting model, which currently does not consider students from other faculties who take courses there.

Beyond that, we oppose the alignment of the administrations with the government's plans based on the narrow capitalist logic that goes against the promotion of research other than for economic or "security" considerations. As Smotrich described it: "The big money is in subjects that do not promote economics such as philosophy studies." The government is threatening another 300 million NIS cut in higher education, following last year's 450 million NIS cut. In reality, the "big money" is in the public investments in the bloody war, the occupation and the settlement enterprise.

In our letter we addressed Prof. Porat personally. You wrote that strengthening the humanities is high on your list of priorities, and now is the opportunity to act. An example of leadership that did exactly that is the administration of Stanford University during World War II: precisely at the height of a period when the American economy was all mobilized, and the military's involvement in every aspect of life only deepened, President Wilbur opened the Faculty of Humanities at Stanford in 1942 with a large investment, the benefits of which are evident To this day. We believe that such leadership even today can strengthen the entire university.


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