Rutgers has been justifiably proud of providing an effective and supportive educational environment for one of the most diverse student populations in American higher education. But, as we learned last semester, the transition to primarily remote instruction creates new challenges for some of our students. In order to be able to participate fully, a student must have access to some relatively sophisticated computer hardware, adequate software, as well as to high-speed internet. While these are not issues for most of our students, some of our students cannot manage the costs of obtaining this access. In order to honor our commitments to our students, we must provide all of those who are clearly unable to afford the access they need for a meaningful remote instructional experience, the resources to acquire it. While most faculty members have the necessary computer hardware, adequate software, and high-speed internet access to be able to provide the quality instruction our students deserve, there are some part-time lecturers who are not able to manage these costs. The result will be differences in students’ experiences. It should be the obligation of every department to make certain that every member of the department has everything needed for high quality remote instruction.
The Executive Committee of the New Brunswick Faculty Council calls upon the Rutgers administration to develop and implement a plan, as soon as possible, to assist those students and part-time lecturers in financial need to acquire the access they need for full participation in the remote instruction this fall and perhaps thereafter