High schoolers tour Stony Brook University in August 2017.

High schoolers tour Stony Brook University in August 2017. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Stony Brook University is in the midst of budget crisis, and administrators are targeting humanities programs and our school’s most vulnerable workers, among others, to cut costs. The writing program must let go of all its adjuncts, including myself: 18 diverse and accomplished professionals, nearly half the faculty. We will be replaced by instructors and teaching assistants from unrelated fields. Would you want a geologist teaching your writing course?

Administrators are trying to put a positive spin on this situation by insisting that they are prioritizing using full-time instructors. While SBU boasts that five full-time faculty will join the writing program in the fall of 2018, three of these new members will be redeployed from departments also facing personnel cuts. The fact remains that they do not have experience teaching writing. Three full-time lecturers in the writing program were given official notice September that their employment would not be renewed. After the pushback, this decision was reversed, but it demonstrates the disingenuous nature of the university’s claims.

Eliminating adjuncts may be contractually legitimate, but these devastating cuts harm our livelihoods and families. The number of students in each class has already increased for spring, threatening the university’s mission for excellence.

Margaret Kennedy, Port Jefferson Station

2018 Social Security increase isn’t much

I just received a notice from Social Security that due to inflation, my benefit will increase by 2 percent in 2018. However, the benefit also includes a deduction for an increase in Medicare and the prescription drug plan. So, my actual net increase is about 0.1 percent.

This may just about cover an extra cup of coffee a day. Thank you, Washington, for helping retired folk to keep up with increases in cost of living.

Please don’t accuse me of wanting the government to take care of me. I had my Federal Insurance Contributions Act deducted every paycheck during a lifetime of working.

Fortunately, my wife and I have enough money to live on, thanks to pensions and investments. I’m thinking about those people who truly rely on Social Security to cover food, housing and other basic expenses.

George George Medford