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Occupation at the University of Southern Maine

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And we're protesting for a lot of reasons. Part of the reason we're protesting is because many of the faculty that are being laid off are tenured faculty, and the faculty have not been properly consulted in these plans about which departments are being eliminated.

But we also think, more fundamentally, that there really is no reason behind these layoffs. Susan Feiner is a professor here. She's done a lot--she's an economics professor and has done a lot of research into the actual financial situation of our university system. We have seven universities in our system. We got a bond rating of AA-, which is the fourth highest possible grade. We got a Standard & Poor's rating that was stellar, saying the outlook for our system is stable over the next two years. And so we really question whether there even really is a financial crisis happening here.

And we want to look at the way money is being spent in the administration throughout the University of Maine system. I think we really see this whole supposed financial crisis as part of a nationwide trend of the corporatization of public higher education and the corporate war on public higher education. And so we're interested in talking about it in those terms.

The administration has, naturally, decided to gut the humanities. Can't have either critical thinking or empathy, now can we?

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