By: Temmi Lattin  | 

YU Declines to Rehire Men’s Only Theater Prof. and 2017 Adjunct of the Year

After teaching theater as an adjunct professor at Yeshiva University for over 14 years, Lin Snider was informed over the summer that she would not be rehired for the 2020-21 school year. Snider was Yeshiva College’s (YC) only theater professor and also directed the annual Yeshiva College Dramatic Society (YCDS) production.

Snider was scheduled to teach an acting class for Fall 2020, but she was informed by Chair of the Department of Fine Arts and Music Dr. Daniel Beliavsky in April 2020 via email that the Deans had cancelled the course, explaining that “their decision [was] based on the need to mitigate the serious economic consequences of the pandemic.” She proposed lecture-based alternatives due to this semester’s online format in an email to Beliavsky, but he did not respond. 

After a request in Aug. for information about her status, and no commitment given about the spring semester, Snider received an email in Sept. informing her that her semester-by-semester position would not be renewed for the full school year.

Snider was named YU’s Lillian F. and William L. Silber Adjunct of the Year in 2017. “[Snider’s] productions are wonderful and the students benefit from her leadership and the exposure to the world of the theater,” Associate Dean Fred Sugarman told YUNews at the time. The news of her termination comes soon after The Commentator’s reporting that YU’s 2017 Professor of the Year, Dr. Daniel Kimmel, was removed from his tenure-track position.

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Selma Botman commented on Snider’s position with YCDS, attributing her dismissal to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that “theater productions are on hold and last spring’s production was cancelled.” She expressed that she “appreciate[s] the work that Lin Snyder has done to direct past YC plays,” and that “future theater productions will depend on returning to a resumption of our in person theater program.” Responding to requests for comment on the cancellation of Snider’s acting course, Botman stated that she was “not aware of these details.”

“I have valued so much the opportunity to become a part of the lives of the young men and women with whom I worked - as well as the relationships I developed with the faculty and administrators who supported YCDS through the years,” said Snider.

Snider began working at YC in the spring of 2006, which at the time had an official theater department and a theater minor. Over the years, she taught a range of theater classes, including Theater History, Directing, Advanced Acting, Playwriting and Theater as an Agent of Change, a course that focused on plays that addressed social issues.

According to current YCDS President Matthew Shilat (YC ‘21), there are no clear plans from YU about who will be taking over Snider’s position. While Shilat hopes that “YCDS will return to the stage under Lin's directing in Spring 2022, there is no certainty.” Referring to the recent construction and downsizing of Stern College for Women’s Art Department floor, Shilat expressed that as a club, YCDS is “worried for the arts at YU,” but with “cautious optimism” they will “press forward, trying new ideas to continue giving theater a place at YU.”

“Lin [Snider] is the ultimate embodiment of a mensch, a person of deep integrity, replete with passion for her job and for her students,” shared Ariel Meiri (YC ‘12), an alumnus who minored in theater. “I’m saddened by the knowledge that a whole new generation of students will not get the chance to benefit from Lin’s vision, creativity, and passion.”

“I will certainly miss being at YU and will welcome the opportunity to return if at all possible,” Snider told The Commentator. “For now, theater — like many other things — has had to take a turn away from past practices and onto new ones. Hopefully the young men of YCDS will continue to find ways to explore their creativity and continue to build their own self-confidence and pride in the new projects they develop.”

Photo Caption: After teaching theater as an adjunct professor at Yeshiva University for over 14 years, Prof. Lin Snider was informed over the summer that she would not be rehired.
Photo Credit: Yeshiva University