EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– Nearly 1,000 University of Evansville students, professors, and alumni are taking part in the save UE rally. The majority of people were asked to participate digitally, but some students and faculty rallied outside demanding their voices be heard.

In the middle of feared job losses and program changes, University of Evansville students and professors are calling on the Administrative Staff President Chris Pietruskiewicz to make the decisions with the faculty’s input.

“They should have every say imaginable in what happens here because we are the voices of this school and we aren’t being heard specifically so know exactly what’s going on and exactly how we feel and exactly what’s going on. That’s the professors,” explained University of Evansville nursing student Paige Weintraut.

Some students say their professors are their eyes and ears which ultimately makes professors the heart beat of the tight knit university.

“This is a small school. We are meant to have those small interactions. We are meant to have that close relationship with our professors. Our professors mean the world to us and they lose sleep over us at night,” said Weintraut.

“My friends that go to a bigger university say they can’t text or call their professors it just really sets how UE is different than anywhere else,” said University of Evansville nursing student Lauren Wrench.

President Pietruskiewicz has said he does not want to see what happened six years ago when the faculty did have input. He claims little was accomplished.

“He’s like directly robbing me of my education,” said University of Evansville sociology student Hannah Nicholson. She tells Eyewitness News cuts have already been made to her department. Nicholson said there aren’t enough classes available for her to get her degree. Now she’s having to teach herself.”If I didn’t do the independent studies. I wouldn’t be able to graduate. When our department went to pres. P about that, and told him their concerns, he told them to either cut down our curricular and make it easier or deal with it.”

Several students are hoping the heart of UE isn’t traded for a better bottom line.

“Everyone that I talked to loves this school and honestly we are scared to death. I’m scared how it’s going to change,” said Weintraut.

Eyewitness news received a statement from Pietruskiewicz saying he is open to talking to faculty. He said decisions must be made as the university is facing very tough financial times.

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(This story was originally published October 7, 2020)