Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday cartoon


  1. I thought that the FA roll was private, so I was surprised to find the full list of active FA members along with work and home phone #s and e-mail addresses in my lecture hall on campus today. Is this public information? I don't see any reason that it should be private, but I know that the FA has been hesitant to release numbers in the past.

  2. "I was surprised to find the full list of active FA members along with work and home phone #s and e-mail addresses in my lecture hall on campus today."

    Fascinating. Did it say who posted the information?? Source?

    I'm not surprised. They release your salary and which primary you voted in over the years (Democratic or Republican).

  3. The other papers accompanying this list included the information from the strike FAQ that I've seen ('What is a strike?','Isn't A strike the last thing SIU needs?','Dirty Tricks', etc.), so I assumed it was left there during an informational meeting by someone in the FA. It suggests that the numbers given after the strike vote were more or less accurate, not that I suspected they weren't.

  4. FA membership at the time of the strike authorization vote was, as I said at the time, 250. So that number is no secret. It has probably gone up some since then, but I don't know by how many.

    Most members are happy to be known as such but a few choose to pay cash rather than payroll deduction so as not to announce themselves to the administration, and I suppose there are others who do payroll deduction but would rather not have their faculty colleagues know who they are. I don't know of the legal status of membership, but the FA obviously has to know who its members are in order to contact them (which is presumably what that list was for), so produces such lists for outreach purposes.

    Ethically, though, we don't intentionally broadcast this information, as some members may prefer to keep it quiet, out of fear of hostility from anti-union faculty or administrators. No doubt this works both ways: there may be some non-members who would like that status kept quiet too. I would like to believe that such fears are misplaced on both sides, but my own feeling is that "outing" members (or non-members) would serve no legitimate function, whether it is legal or not.

    Releasing home phone numbers--which the FA is also gathering, to be able to contact members off-campus in evenings or in the event of a strike--would obviously also go against some legitimate expectations of privacy (for those who keep their numbers unlisted).

    So: this material isn't top secret but may raise privacy issues if distributed outside of the purposes for which it was gathered. Someone erred by leaving it behind. If I picked it up I'd shred it, then.

  5. If it was a FA list, then yeah, I'd be concerned that someone just "left it there." You know, like the iPhone prototype left in bar by an Apple engineer. Oops!

  6. If you look at the recent entry on The Southern "Mistreated faculty" blog you will find that Metro has contacted directly a tenure-track faculty member. How did he get this information? Obviously, a hit-list is being prepared.

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