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Letter to NTT Faculty


Dear Colleagues,

With the end of classes last week, we want to congratulate you all on the amazing work of this semester, even as we must bring important and disappointing news.  As many of you have no doubt already heard, several days ago the UMass Boston Administration took drastic action in the name of preparing for a worst-case scenario for the Fall.  Chief among them is an initiative to reduce our ranks, targeting all those NTT faculty not yet on continuing appointment. 

Many of you (those in this pre-continuing appointment category) may by now have received word from the Provost's office that your contract is not guaranteed to be renewed in the Fall.  These email notices are referred to as "letters of non-reappointment" and we believe they are being sent to at least 200-250 NTT faculty, which is about 50% of all NTT faculty and 25% of total faculty at UMB.

What a way to say “thank you” to some of the hardest working members of our UMB community.  (And even as we are being told that student enrollments for the Fall look strong.) 

The good news is that we are getting notice in advance, as is required under our contract (rather than waiting until mid or late summer to hear). Also we should recall that the last time the Administration did this four years ago, the vast majority of “non-reappointed” faculty were in fact rehired in the Fall. The bad news is that this notice is being given during an ongoing pandemic (and a major economic downturn), and represents a failure of our administration to safeguard our community of scholars and educators.  As you will have learned from the message you received this past Tuesday from our Core Bargaining Team, the administration is not treating UMB faculty as the valuable assets we are and has made it clear they have little interest in working with us collaboratively to create more sustainable and humane solutions which put lives and public health first.  

We are not alone in being treated this way.  Across the UMass system, cuts are being initiated to reduce expenses by laying off staff and using furloughs and other methods to trim payrolls.  On other campuses, as well as here on our Boston campus, adjunct faculty in particular are being targeted and let go. 

It does not have to be this way. Infuriatingly, these actions ignore the significant system and state funds that are available to be tapped in times of duress.   Rainy day funds and UMass system reserves exist and could be used right now to help us, if the UMass Board of Trustees and president would relinquish their absurd commitment to enforce “balanced budgets” during a  global crisis.  The administration's prevailing approach, to reduce payroll first not last (thereby threatening our colleagues’ livelihoods as well as their access to affordable health insurance and health care), while targeting some of the most underpaid and overworked among us, is not inevitable, as our administrators would have you believe.  It is a choice, one we firmly reject. 

If you managed to attend the UMass Boston All-Union Town Hall Tuesday afternoon, you have already heard and seen that faculty are joining forces with staff and graduate students, finding common ground in our fight to save jobs, lives, and the urban public mission of our university.  FSU must band together with our sister unions on campus to resist the cuts our administration is proposing.  Likewise, we must also work with unions across the state to pressure college administrations to do the right thing and stop or reverse implementation of short-sighted and draconian measures.  

But even as we work to unite across ranks, across unions, and across campuses, we also recognize that there are particular needs and concerns that NTT faculty have right now. Towards this end, we will be holding another Emergency NTT Zoom meeting this coming Friday, May 22, from 3:30-5pm.  (See Zoom info below.) How to respond to these Non-Reappointment letters will be at the top of our agenda.  We hope that many of you can participate and will work with us to collectively resist this recent decision and to support each other.  

We will continue to update you as new developments take shape.  Stay tuned for more information from FSU on actions being planned across campus and across the state to combat measures which put us and others in higher ed at risk.  In the meantime, if you need someone to talk to and to strategize with during this crazy moment,  we are here for you. Please reach out to us either directly (our emails are below) or via It’s become clearer than ever that it is up to us to keep each other, and the communities we serve, safe and supported during this unprecedented crisis.  The fact remains that faculty, and NTT faculty in particular, are the essential frontline educators who make UMass Boston run, whatever “modality” we are in, and we need and deserve support from our administration and each other!

We know that an injury to one of us is an injury to all of us.

This is your union.


Your NTT Faculty Staff Union Ex Com Representatives,

Tracy Brown, Academic Support & ESL

Caroline Coscia, Political Science, FSU Vice President

Monique Fuguet, Mathematics

Linda Liu, Sociology

Joe Ramsey, English and American Studies

Your NTT representatives on the FSU Executive Committee invite you to a zoom gathering on Friday, May 22nd 3:30 - 5PM EDT (contact FSU for meeting info).  

For information on the FSU, links to our contract and bargaining updates, and a calendar of events, see the FSU webpage

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