Letter: Collective grievance

Editor’s note: this letter was endorsed by at least 61 other students in the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.

We denounce the actions of Interim Dean of Engineering Ilesanmi Adesida concerning the Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, whose academic program she intends to transfer to the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, thus precipitating a takeover of TAM against the unanimous will of its faculty. The community should be aware of these actions, which in our opinion constitute an utter scandal.

A few years ago, the previous dean proposed to merge TAM with MIE and asked the college to evaluate the merger. The decision reached by the college, including the Executive Committee, was that TAM should continue as an independent department.

The decision to retain TAM did not conform to the expectations of the dean. After announcing that he would abide by the college’s will, he unleashed a crusade aimed at crippling TAM and making a merger inevitable.

Now that this crusade has reached fruition with the zealous aid of interim dean Adesida (“TAM could choose to resist and then be left to die on the vine”), there is a pretense that what happened to TAM has happened spontaneously. Not so. Our professors have been relentlessly pressured to leave TAM for MIE. Our search for a new head was shamelessly aborted on the last day of the previous dean’s administration. Exhausted by the harassment, four of our professors left the University. Enticed by sly favors offered by the college (an unprecedented outrage), several others left TAM to join MIE. The previous dean promised in writing to give TAM four positions to recover its losses, only to procrastinate indefinitely. Meanwhile, MIE has announced several new positions in areas of research specific to TAM.

The list could go on for pages. The college has purposefully made a devastation only to call it TAM’s problems and to blame us for those problems.

Pinaki Chakraborty

Graduate student