Manchester Cuts Music Positions; Alums Respond

In a twist worthy of an O. Henry Christmas story, Manchester restored its historic chimes only to eliminate the position of the individual who is currently ringing them.

President McFadden sent an email to faculty, staff and students on Thursday, November 17, informing of the elimination of 16 positions—by early retirement, resignations, and cuts. Two cuts were to the music program, where positions held by the department’s two female faculty, Dr. Debra Lynn and Dr. Pamela Haynes, were eliminated.

Lynn has been teaching at Manchester for some 25 years and has taken students to perform at venues such as Carnegie Hall; she has brought celebrated artists to Manchester, including opera singer Daniel Belcher and rock-and-roll legend Stewart Copeland. Haynes, a more recent but tenured hire, regularly accompanies guest artists on piano.

News of Lynn’s eliminated position prompted an immediate and shocked reaction from current students and alumni, who wrote on her Facebook page in over 300 messages about how much she and her music opportunities meant to them, students ranging from disciplines from biology-chemistry to business.

In a recent op ed for the Journal Gazette, McFadden stated the need to move away from what he called “legacy programs” and toward digital and science opportunities.