A letter from the Academic Affairs Council of the Student Senate thanks faculty and staff for any hardships endured as a result of the current salary freeze, and for their hard work and dedication during the past academic school year.
Kelly Whittier, chairman of the Academic Affairs Council, broached the idea of thanking university employees for helping to reduce the burden students faced due to a reduction in financial aid.
“Kelly had the brilliant idea that the least we could do for our professors was to just say thank you,” said William McKernan, a freshman who sits on the council. “Everyone on our council thought that this gesture was extremely important to make, and we agreed that the sacrifice that our educators were making for us should not go unnoticed.”
Whittier says the decision to write the letter was based on the desire to extend gratitude.
“They (faculty and staff) have faced hardships so we don't have to, and while our letter may not change their or the university's circumstances, I'm glad that we had the opportunity to communicate our appreciation,” Whittier says.
“Our UNH website states that New Hampshire ranks last in the nation for per capita higher education support. Personally, I don't attend UNH for any financial advantage of being an in-state student; I stay because of the caliber, dedication, and passion of my professors.”
The letter, dated Jan. 30, 2012, reads as follows:
Dear Faculty and Staff of the University of New Hampshire:
As members of the Academic Affairs Council for the Student Senate of the University of New Hampshire, we would like to take the opportunity to show our appreciation for your hard work and sacrifice over the past academic school year.
We realize that this past year has certainly not been the easiest financially due to the recent state budget cuts which have put a severe strain on the University; as students we would like to recognize the various restraints that have been pressed upon you due to the current salary freeze along with any inconveniences that the current hiring freeze may have caused.
As representatives of the student body of the University of New Hampshire, we truly appreciate and admire your dedication to our institution and your commitment to academic excellence through these trying times. As a result of the sacrifices endured by the faculty, students have been allowed to continue their education without exorbitant cost. The actions of the faculty and staff of UNH have not gone unnoticed and we thank you for your excellence.
Sincerely and with utmost gratitude,
The Academic Affairs Council:
Kelly Whittier (Chair)
Lauren E. Saucier
Adam J. Babinat
William F. McKernan