On Friday, November 19th, 2021, Several hundred people gathered in 40 degree weather at a Rally outside of WPU’s Shea Auditorium to stand in solidarity against proposed layoffs of approximately 40% of full-time WPU faculty (including those with tenure) and numerous members of WPU professional staff. The crowd consisted of members from William Paterson University’s AFT Local 1796, our own AFT Local 1904, as well as other various Locals and our Statewide Council. Various elected officials and other public figures were also in attendance to speak against these draconian measures. Speakers, cheered on by the crowd, condemned as patently false the Administration’s claim that mass layoffs are the one, unavoidable pathway to address the University’s budget exigencies.
These planned layoffs represent not only a devastating blow to the impacted WPU employees and their families, but also to WPU students, particularly given the University’s status as a minority-serving institution. More broadly, the magnitude and scale of these layoffs at WPU represent a potentially damaging threat to the future of public higher education in New Jersey.