Students react as beloved FHS professor loses his position

The College of Education at the University of Oregon. (Emerald Archives)

In a cost-cutting move last week, the College of Education notified professor Kevin Alltucker that his hours were being reduced, making him decide to leave his job at the University of Oregon.

Alltucker was technically not laid off, he said. He has been part-time for the past 13 years but has taught classes in several departments on campus – Family and Human Services, Planning, Public Policy and Management, and the Clark Honors College – in order to have enough hours to get benefits.

When the College of Education told him they were cutting his Family and Human Services hours down to the point where he would no longer get benefits, he decided to leave. Alltucker will teach for the rest of the term but won’t return after that.

This cut is part of the initiative the university is taking to cut costs and increase the ratio of students to tenure-track faculty, but Alltucker said he is concerned that students’ needs will not be met with that plan.

“I believe in students and that’s why I’ve taught for the past 13 years,” he said. “I believe in the wisdom of students to go out and make the world a better place.”

On May 1, Alltucker tweeted the news that he would no longer be teaching classes.

Dozens of current and former students have responded to the tweet, voicing how upset they are to see him leave and noting the difference he made in their college and professional careers.

One student, Hannah Contreras, said the news of his departure is devastating and an unfortunate decision.

“Kevin reminded his students every day that we could change the world, and he fostered our self-confidence both inside and outside of the classroom to go out and be agents of change,” she said.

On the professor-review website, Alltucker has glowing reviews. He has a 4.8/5 overall rating, based on 58 student responses.

Someone started a closed Facebook group called “Save FHS – Keep Kevin Alltucker,” that currently has 188 members as of May 3.

Alltucker grew up, went to school and has strong ties in Eugene and plans to stay in the city to pursue a new interest. He does not have any definite plans for the future but is not worried, he said.

“To hear from past students and current students and how much they value the FHS program, that’s fantastic,” he said. “But it shouldn’t be about me — it should be about how this university is going to serve the needs of students.”

Follow Emma Henderson on Twitter @henderemma . 

Please consider donating to the Emerald. We are an independent non-profit dedicated to supporting and educating this generation's best journalists. Your donation helps pay equipment costs, travel, payroll, and more!