PsTL situation needs explanation

When the University of Minnesota recently announced that it will close its Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning, it set off worries for some faculty members, the Minnesota Daily reported Thursday.

Though school leaders have said that PsTL’s closure in two years won’t eliminate any programs, some faculty members are worried that certain jobs and student services are still at risk.

They deserve an explanation.

Before it became public knowledge that PsTL will close, several tenure and tenure-track faculty members met with school leadership to discuss “strategic planning” for the department. There, these senior employees were informed that PsTL would close. However, more than a dozen teaching specialists weren’t involved with this meeting.

The seemingly closed-door nature of the closure’s initial announcement is a red flag. In addition, it appears the University hasn’t sufficiently explained to all PsTL employees what will happen as the department is spread among the College of Education and Human Development’s other programs. Given that PsTL houses CEHD’s crucial First-Year Experience program, school leaders must be more transparent and detailed in how the college will continue to provide the same services.

On top of that, the motives behind closing the department are unclear.

We strongly urge University leaders to make a detailed statement on why this department closure occurred and what will happen in two years. Hopefully, this statement would put some fears to rest.