Saturday, November 5, 2011

Negotiation to Include a Federal Mediator

For those of you strikers out there that didn't get the FA your non-SIUC email address, our FA President just released the following email:

[Click Image to Enlarge.]

For those of you concerned that the FA's reason's for going out on strike were unwarranted, perhaps we'll see what a mediator thinks as he/she helps both parties weigh the strengths of their positions and their willingness to find a reasonable compromise.  Well, not directly of course, but in the outcome. 

83 comments:

  1. Thank you Randy. My email has been shut off and I will try to pass the work on Cheng does not seem to realize that students want to contact faculty. One (before the shut-off) informed me about family problems that led to her missing a class and asked for an extension of her paper. I was able to answer her before my email access went. I'm sure other students have tried to contact their instructors similarly and have found the reality behind the "business as usual" propaganda. Poshard and Cheng are really harming students by their arbitrary actions.

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  2. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 5, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    Tony, last week I gave my students my private email address to deal with such a problem. In my research seminar I also pushed up the deadline for their first drafts to last Monday so that I could get them all marked up with comments and returned by Wednesday. I know Chancellor Cheng and President Poshard would love to believe their own spin that I am a selfish faculty member who does not care about my own students but the truth of the matter is that I am bending over backwards to avoid as much as I can putting them in the middle of all this. And I believe that is true of nearly all of my colleagues on strike as well.

    The attitude that we are replaceable and that *anybody* can teach our students is exactly what I am disgusted at. I believe that many of my own students share this belief. Indeed one joined my strike squad for an hour or so yesterday - as was true of another student of one of the professors on my squad. And we are located at the very southern extremities of campus, away from nearly everything, so it was saying a lot that my student came anyway.

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  3. I worry that nonresident graduate students I didn't contact before the strike may need letters of recommendation. I brought home my digital files for that, but I can't write them if my students don't know how to find me. And of course, it's coming up on the season of undergraduates getting their materials together to apply to graduate school, or some even applying for jobs. I guess I can't help with that...

    Perhaps if the Chancellor didn't share Gary Metro's belief that all we do is teach classes, she would realize that cutting off our email does serious harm to students not in our classes.

    I am not inconvenienced much (since I have always had a personal email account); it is only the university and the students that are hurt by this petty and asinine stunt. Yes, yes, yes...the Administration has absolute authority over some networks. All bow to the great and powerful...

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  4. I can personally attest to the fervor of students wanting to support their teachers. While 'roving' on many occasions I've been asked by students:"Do you know which picket line Prof X is on? Can you take me there?" I agree that the "interchangable" teachers argument has infuriated many. In most instances--even in some large lecture formats--teaching and learning is grounded and sustained in the interpersonal relationships we have with our students and which we foster amongst them. If someone's students neither know, nor care if a stranger-sub takes over their class, I wonder what kind of environment exists in the classroom. That said, there are many reasons why some students simply want/need to finish out their semester. I would like to be part of the solution to enable that. Lets hope this round of mediating bargaining is successful and we can return to work in good conscience and under a fair contract

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  5. I have refused to use my @siu.edu address and stuck with @dept.siu.edu. It has not been shut off. I have my students' email addresses so I can email them without using SalukiNet; I have been updating them with the latest info. I told them that I had instructed their sub not to cover new material and that attendance is optional until the strike is over. They also know bargaining with a federal mediator will likely start tomorrow.

    I would never dream of putting their grades on blackboard.

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  6. Hahaha, you guys get funnier and funnier. I loved watching the "solidarity" at the rally today. What was there, maybe 50 people? And they were mostly gone when I walked by again at 2:30. Face it. The world knows your a joke. Now get back to work and do your jobs.

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  7. Anon 3:39. I hope they fire you for bs like that. Clearly if the sub can cover new material you can easily be replaced (as can most of you clowns). Holding your students hostage by telling them class is optional when it clearly is not is pathetic.

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  8. Following the two derisive comments above, Disgusted etc, etc, I don't have a private email since I also try to work at home without internet distraction. Also, the Microsoft department email address does not work due to a technological problem. I just hope no students are inconvenienced by this mean-spirited act on behalf of SIUC administrators. Students use email frequently and this is another way of cheating them like providing shoddy substitutes during class hours.

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  9. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 5, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Attendance is indeed optional in my classes: after going back and forth on that for years, students are adults and are capable of being responsible for the consequences of not showing up to my classroom.

    Moreover, regardless of whether they actually find a "qualified" sub to teach my class (which I find very unlikely given that I am the only one with my specialization in the entire university), I will be covering the material that I missed anyway when I come back. I am sorry: I owe my students this much to ensure that they are getting the content covered in the best manner possible, not by some unqualified person who does not have a Ph.D. in my field, nor the research credentials such as publishing articles and a book that I do. You cannot replace me, and to even think you can indicates that you live in some deluded fantasy world.

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  10. We'll be back to work soon enough, Anon 3:42/3:43. Now that the Admin has agreed to come back to the table and is finally willing to invite a mediator back into the process, negotiations can actually move forward with a decent referee. Gosh, I wonder what made them finally agree to something like that...

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  11. 3:43 PM,

    Class is optional means there will be no grade penalty if they miss class. I know the sub and know they cannot cover new material without making a mess of it.

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  12. If we can get a settlement Sunday night, I think SIUC should cancel the Vet Day break and hold a Thursday class schedule next Saturday. Classes that did not meet with their regular instructor could then be made up. It is not a perfect solution as some students may have made travel plans or work on Saturday, but we could get most people caught up and then meet with other students one on one that can't make it to the make up classes. Staff should not have to come in.

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  13. I don't like it, Mike...but I'd do it. I've had to do a lot of things I don't "like" lately...because they are the right thing to do!

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  14. Laughing at the trollsNovember 5, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Wow, you would think the administration's request to resume negotiations would serve to quiet the trolls about the effect of our efforts and the immense support we have gotten from the students, the local community, and the men and women from other unions refusing to cross our line. Anonymous 3:42 and 3:43, please keep the jokes coming. You are more entertaining than you realize. The most that the university can mandate for attendance is that we should "encourage" students to attend class (look it up, trolls). I did as much when asked by students what to do. I guess they made up their own minds. I actually encourage my students to do that, you know. Or is that too much like real education instead of "business ($$$$) as usual"?

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  15. Are you kidding "Disgusted?" You're as replaceable as anyone. To think otherwise shows just how far out of reality you really are and the whole reason why this entire "union" is such a joke. The other "unions" have abandoned you. Your students have mostly abandoned you and the community just points and laughs. Welcome to the real world.

    I am a student in 2 departments both of which have had 100% of their faculty do the right thing and show up to work. I've yet to talk to a friend in anything other than COLA who has been impacted by this. You are all a joke and the work knows it.

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  16. I wonder if the 'qualified sub" presumably ready to teach my class will also be advising the 8 dissertations/theses I supervise, sit on my 20+ additional grad committees, write the letters of rec for the cohorts of the last 20 years, write and present the papers at our upcoming national convention; receive the "outstanding scholarship award" in my stead at said convention, finish the 2 book chapters on deadline, review for 3 national journals, assess a colleague's research productivity for tenure, etc. etc.

    Classroom teaching is the most important job I do but it is the tip of the workload iceberg in a research 1 institution.

    While eminently qualified for my own job, I am certainly not qualified for someone else's. I know the difference btw a rock and a flower, but this does not make me either a geologist or a botanist and I cannot teach even beginning Calculus. Nor could I run the software programs or help the dept budgets run smoothly that our Civil Service office workers do. I don't know the names, talents or concerns of the undergrads that our GAs work with so splendidly in our Core classes and I haven't the content expertise or accreditation to take the place of our NTT colleagues.

    For those who have claimed so blithely their capability to do another's job . . . what a truly extraordinary individual you must be. and how oddly expendable are those around you.

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  17. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 5, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Unless they do a national search for my research specialty, I am indeed not replaceable. My academic discipline is divided into sub-fields, while one of them has a few professors that overlap, in my particular case I am the only person in the department with the training to teach my 300-level course at the moment. Of course, if you subscribe to the culture of mediocrity that we are fighting right now around here, you probably don't get what I am saying.

    So, go ahead and pretend that "anybody" can teach about David Lloyd George and the First World War or the 1926 General Strike in Dr. Sramek's British history course while he is out defending his rights - your rights too - as a faculty member on this university. Or that anybody can teach Dr. Gray's courses in Speech Communication, or Dr. Williams' in English.

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  18. Seems a bit presumptuous to force students to attend class on a national holiday and a Saturday to make up work that was missed because of a strike that was initiated by the faculty. I support the FA, but how is it that you think you can strike and still expect your students to meet obligations when you were the ones who broke your "contract" with them. You want to strike? Fine. But then don't make the students make up for your choice to deprive them of a portion of their education.

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  19. Agreed. Veterans Day must be respected and I wouldn't ask for Saturday school when so many students have their work & family obligations to negotiate. I'll make up work/time by altering the syllabus, deadlines and assignments--and offering individual tutorials with students wanting to engage what the class as a whole cannot.

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  20. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 5, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    You ought to get your facts correct. It was the BOT bargaining team that stonewalled Wednesday night while their counterparts at the other three bargaining tables were conceding most things left and right to try to divide the unions from one another and isolate us. It is Chancellor Cheng who is depriving students of their education by hiring unqualified substitutes who are little more than babysitters for the classes we teach. Place a Ph.D. in British history in Dr. Sramek's class and maybe I will believe that Chancellor Cheng has found someone "qualified" to teach that class but otherwise no.

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  21. Anonymous 4:22 - I'm glad that "bu$ine$$ as usual" worked out for you. Our University and Community is a much bigger world than your 2 departments and group of friends. That's the real world, welcome to it.

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  22. Shame on you bozos for writing comments against your colleagues. Thank all those who are fighting for your rights. They have nothing personal to gain. They may be the last one get fired if it come to layoffs. Don’t think supporting this callus, rude, and disrespectful administration is going to give you anything. Poshard and Cheng are looking to gain power and then will take care of you first. This is how politics work.

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  23. 4:51. I understand how negotiations proceeded. I also understand that the faculty chose to strike. It was their affirmative act, and I believe that they were right to do it. Doesn't change the fact that Mike and Jonny want to force students to make up for the choices that they made to leave the classroom.

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  24. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 5, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    Yes, indeed, we "choose" to strike to defend our rights - your rights also - at this university against an extreme administration who has chosen war on us rather than working with us to build a better university. And I am sorry you don't like it, but the fact remains that the university admitted that there are limited numbers of individuals available nationwide to do my job when it 1) made a Ph.D. in my field required upon commencement of employment; and 2) searched for my particular expertise. Call that elitist if you must make yourself feel better, but it's the reality of a university, and something that I am fighting to uphold.

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  25. 5:31, not sure who you are responding to, but your comments have nothing to do with now requiring students to do more work on national holidays and weekends to make up for days missed due to the strike.

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  26. Anonymous 5:12 PM and others:

    Mike and Jonny want students to get their educations. While I disagree with the specifics of Mike's Veterans Day suggestion, I think it is important that students' educations not be shortchanged. The makeup days wouldn't be to punish students but to teach students what they are paying to learn.

    The Chancellor claimed to believe that too when she said that qualified substitutes would be ready during the strike. After two days of "business as usual," the Ph.D.s in the research and teaching fields of the striking faculty have yet to materialize.

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  27. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 5, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Sorry I am responding more to the general disdain exhibited by a few posters ago. As far as your particular issue goes, scheduling has always been 100% the administrators' prerogative with the exception of one thing: I work on a nine-month contract which means from May 16 to August 16th, if I work (other than on my own research), it must be voluntary. Before people complain about how spoiled we are to receive annual leave, bear in mind that unless there is some grant we bring into the university or we serve as department chairs or program heads, regular faculty are only paid nine months of the year. We do not get paid for the summer, even though most of us fulfill a major part of our research loads during that time.

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  28. As a faculty member, I would like to say to all students reading and posting on here that you will never ever feel "unwanted, disrespected and bullied". However, I expect there might be some nasty responses popping up soon claiming to be from FA members or faculty.

    Cheng seems to be highly experienced in controlling media. Please be aware this open forum is particularly vulnerable.

    By the way, one post by a former VP of some local union that blames all unions as "LIARS" stayed on SIU Facebook page Thursday night while many posts by students respectfully asking for "settle" were being deleted.

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  29. I wish I would have received this email. I only now see that this informational meeting is being help. No, my email has not been "turned off". It is working just fine. Wonder why I didn't get it.

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  30. I don't think that the administrations willingness to bargain with a mediator proves that the FA has won anything. I'm glad it's happening, but people sometimes do irrational things when there are hostages involved. Remember Reagan selling guns to the Iranians?

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  31. The pros and cons of holding extra classes can be debated. Students who cannot or do not wish to attend should not be penalized. I'd be glad to have as many extra office hours as needed to get everyone caught up.

    I talked to my chair today and have heard about the various substitute 'teachers' the admin is using. They cannot handle even the most basic math courses. They often give up after just a few minutes.

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  32. 5:50 PM: So is SIU Facebook really a "marketing" tool as they claim now? I saw that post and hopefully we can find a screenshot somewhere. It was late Wednesday night?

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  33. It is pretty clear we are winning. I was walking from my house to a picket line on campus with my sign. One neighbor came out phone in hand and said, "I'm calling Poshard's office now!" Another stopped her car and asked how she could help.

    The victory of the other three unions shows that unions can get better contracts for all of us. The FA contract may not have some of the things we wanted, but we can damn well be proud that our struggle has helped so many of our students and lesser paid staff and colleagues. And the contract we get will we far better than the imposed terms.

    I understand that many faculty were unsure about the FA's approach. I understand that while few support the Admin, quite a few were afraid. I hold no grudges. But I hope that now they will join if they had not before. I hope the strike does not drag on any longer. But I if the talks collapse Sunday night, I hope they will join on the picket lines Monday. We will win this.

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  34. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 5, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    Keep amusing us with your faulty analogies 5:57. Several professional historians on the picket line at the moment are getting a wonderful chuckle out of that.

    My chair, also, has told me that she will not staff any of my classes unless there is a Ph.D. in our field. Yet, the administration keeps sending her names of warm bodies. Makes you wonder where Chancellor Cheng's priorities really are.

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  35. Perhaps the mediator could ask Dr.* Poshard to provide further clarification to his claim that the administration could have declared financial exigency in the last two years. A financial exigency either exists or it doesn’t.

    There is a big difference between tight budgets and cash flow issues as opposed to what basically is bankruptcy. After reading Poshard’s statement this makes about the same sense as the statement of being a little pregnant. I have to question does the administration really understand or know what the true meaning of financial exigency is?

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  36. LOL "a little pregnant"! Yeah it could be but I am not really sure!

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  37. Without a terminal degree, you are not permitted to be a member of the graduate faculty (as best I can recall). Therefore, you are unable to lead (maybe even serve) on thesis and dissertation committees. Likewise, if you are not an associate professor or above, you cannot lead dissertations.

    My point is that students will have to switch to other non-striking faculty members who do not share their interests or, perhaps, an expertise in the topic area.

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  38. I have actually read the BOT's last offer and I just don't see the evil motive and loopholes that the FA says are there. It looks like a fair deal to me. If Cheng is actually focusing on union busting she seems to be doing it by making the union seem unnecessary.

    Any of you out there that haven't already done so should make sure you get a copy of the proposal and read the thing for yourself. Then contrast it with the things that the FA has been asking for over the past year. A faculty club, longevity pay, a FE process that is at best dangerously sluggish. Judge it yourself. You really don't need an attorney to make sense of it.

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  39. Anon 6:30, it's been a long negotiation process and I am not sure what version of the supposals you are reading. Some things are not on the table now (like a faculty club). These are the early concessions. In past negotiations (and maybe this one) the Administration has had its own early concessions, like making attending graduation mandatory for all faculty.

    And the latest supposal does not have a sluggish process for determining FE. It does request what Poshard recommended in his editorial -- namely that the Administration's decisions be grievable to a third party after the fact. The FA wants something with a bit more teeth than, "it's okay, we'll talk to you...and we'll always let you complain."

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  40. Last month, I stated over and over again the need for a greater atmosphere of trust around here. I still maintain that position and will do all I can after this is all over to make SIUC a far better place than it is at present.

    However, what better way to foster that than for the BOT to allow a grievance procedure? If the financial health of the university is so dire that the BOT feels it has no other choice but to declare financial exigency I ought to be able to trust that decision. I am the least senior member of my department at present until the 26:1 ratio kicks in to force new hires to make up for the fact that we have lost four tenure lines in the time I have been at this university. Granted, with a book, I could probably go elsewhere if it really came to that point. We are, indeed, dealing with a rare event.

    As a professional historian by training, I am trained to place facts and details within their historical context. In 1974, the BOT falsely declared financial exigency to fire 104 tenured faculty on this campus. That action, more than any other it seems, has caused a climate of distrust between administrators and faculty to develop and grow over the past 37 years. Let's end that toxic culture. It starts with the administration agreeing to some safeguards in place in a contract more meaningful than "trust us" or "the check's in the mail."

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  41. I agree with Joe's post above. But if a Federal Mediator does manage to achieve a good compromise what guarantee would we have that Cheng accepts it? Surely, with her policy of dragging anybody in to teach a class, faculty are disposable and the way clear to globalizing education with DL being taught by low-paid workers in faraway places. That is the way corporations operate now.

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  42. Anonymous 7:49 I understand your position: I struggle with it myself sometimes when I compare the wonderful place SIUC seemed to me when I first arrived here and the dystopia that I am experiencing this fall. A legally-binded contract will have to suffice for us as a platform to build greater trust around here on campus. Then, would come things like making the FS something other than advisory, yes a faculty club would be nice also but I won't demand that as part of a back-to-work agreement. The conversations across disciplines I have been having the past two days with my fellow FA members at our strike site demonstrate the wisdom of this idea.

    On our side, I hate to say it, but we faculty need to stop criticizing the administration every time it seems they do something. There are good administrators and bad administrators, good policies and bad policies. For this place to become functional again, both administration and faculty need to help repair the damage caused by this toxic culture of mistrust. It won't change overnight. But, as I want to make my career here if SIUC grants me tenure next year, I will do my best to help foster that better culture.

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  43. Joe, I hope things do improve but they won't until Cheng is fired and sent back to Wisconsin (and Scott Walker) and President Plagiarist resigns. Unfortunately, during the decades I have been here, things have become much worse and this is the worst year I've ever experienced. Only a strong contract with firm language, shared governance as in I.S.U. with a respected President who rose from the ranks, and the firing of this incompetent crew such as Nicklow will really change the situation. This administration is correctly adversely criticized since it is the worst since the firings in 1973. They merely want to repeat history with an imposed contract that will allow them to legitimize what the courts found illegal in 1973.

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  44. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 5, 2011 at 8:55 PM

    http://thesouthern.com/news/local/siu/article_a1c974ba-0703-11e1-ac7c-001cc4c002e0.html

    The money quote comes at the end of the piece:


    "During the 1973-74 school year, SIU declared a financial exigency which led to plans to let roughly 104 faculty members go. Johnson mentioned the event during a recent news conference.
    Cheng said it's very unlikely today, even in this economy, something similar would be declared.
    "I can understand those fears, however that is in our board policy as a very last step you take after you consider many, many other things," Cheng said. "It's very safe to say it's highly unlikely.""


    Yet, many of us do not trust you, Chancellor Cheng, because of your deeds over the past 16 months. Actions not words are what my parents always told me count in life. At this point, we are going to have have assurances in our contract for this university to move forward.

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  45. The only joke around here is you Anon 3:42,
    and a very bad joke at that.

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  46. Anon 5:50 PM:

    I just came across a Facebook page called SIUC STUDENT STRIKE AND RALLY. Some students are planning a rally Monday afternoon 3:30 in support of the FA strike. Interestingly, someone under the name "Katie Cottingham", who claims to be an SIU student, is trying hard to stop this rally at this moment. This "Katie" claims on that Facebook page that "in the past 3 weeks I have been trying to understand the elements of this dispute, I might not be so t-ed off. I've actually put time in trying to get through to people with the union and ask why talks fell apart, what the major issues are, and always got the run around."

    It is also very interesting that this "Katie" knows a lot about our contract negotiation despite her claim quoted above.

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  47. 10:29 PM,

    Katie Cottingham is a senior in Theater. Students have every right to disagree with us. It is not surprising there are students on both sides of this.

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  48. It still remains a fact that only a small minority of the faculty is striking. So all the talk about winning is nonsense. Chancellor Cheng seems to be the only reasonable person talking.

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  49. It seems y'all don't intend on striking for long - certainly not the duration of the semester. Meanwhile, many students can lose their financial aid if someone doesn't attest they are attending class. So what do you say when a student loses financial aid - and the admin. has no control over the federal Title IV folks. ??

    "TITLE IV FINANCIAL AID CLASS ATTENDANCE POLICY
    Students receiving Federal financial aid must attend class on a regular basis AND maintain satisfactory academic progress. If a student fails to attend class on a regular basis, his/her financial aid could be suspended. The Federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation, for students who cease attending classes, is based on class attendance records as provided by the student’s instructor(s). To establish attendance in online courses, the student must actively participate in the course by submitting assignments or by earning course points. Logging on does not constitute attendance. If the student received Federal student aid, and stopped attending class, he/she may be required to repay the aid.
    Effective Fall 2011"

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  50. Of course, she is the Dear Leader.

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  51. I'm wondering how many faculty just use .edu addresses. In this day and age, I'm surprised that some still are doing so. On the student end, I know that many do not even check their .edu addresses and so I gather their preferred non .edu addresses. I hope strikers did so beforehand (it seems Joe Sramek did).

    I blogged about the dangers of .edu email in two parts (first part with link to Part II below). The post even mentioned Facebook censorship -- FIRE has been kept quite busy with administrations not only censoring their own sites but declaring critics on Facebook a "clear and present danger" and barring them from campus! See the links within the post(s) for real-life examples:

    http://freesiu.blogspot.com/2009/01/big-brother-and-u-part-i-is-your.html

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  52. Any prospect of permanent replacement workers? If FA strikes for much longer, they can certainly advertise for jobs and fill them by end of year. Lots of PhDs out there in almost every field. Don't think it can't happen here -- it happens all over. So if the strike goes to end of semester look for students to get passing grades in "struck" courses and ads running for replacement hires. Now THAT would be hard ball. Cheng et al. haven't played softball yet!

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  53. Dr. Bean,

    So the president at Valdosta State was fired?

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  54. 11:11 PM,

    The scare tactics aren't working. If you are so concerned about ending this fast why aren't you furious that the BOT did not meet with us on Thursday, Friday or even today? There is no force stopping Rita from resuming bargaining. Why were the BOT bargaining team members (at least one) teaching other people's classes and not hard at work on a counterproposal? Can you answer these questions?

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  55. Mike,

    It was hard to find subs. That's why.

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  56. Old Striker,

    That is why people need to call the BOT, call the Governor, Simon, state reps etc. Yes Cheng might well like to replace us all. What people like her don't get is that the more repressive they become, the stronger the resolve of others become. Even Dr. Bean might get mad enough to join us.

    And let's talk facts. You said: "Don't think it can't happen here -- it happens all over." Give an example where tenured faculty were permanently replaced during a strike.

    Chancellors are easy to replace. Even university presidents can be replaced.

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  57. Jon,

    If we cannot get a deal Sunday night will you join us? If you want you can be on my picket team. You know how to reach me.

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  58. "Business as usual" is not the same as education as usual. If my professors aren't given a fair contract so they can get back to work, the first semester of my doctoral program will be a wash. Haters can hate all they want, but I blame Mommy Dearest and her merry band for the current situation. I can only hope that the mediation will bring all of this to an end.

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  59. Anyone can confirm this?

    "The administration is apparently offering grad students $280 per course hour to teach striking professors’ classes."

    See http://creepincharlie.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/chancellor-chengs-take-on-the-siuc-strike/

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  60. Since Poshard became the president, we have received national attention: chancellors have been fired or replaced left and right, he was labeled plagiarist, unqualified people have been appointed to top positions (e.g., Cheng and Nicklow), Dean and Provost resigned because they refused to work under poor leadership, strike happened for the first time in SIUC’s history, employee morale is all time low. This is what is called leaving legacy behind. It appears that the task assigned to Poshard was to ruin this university and he is doing a great job.

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  61. Anyone teaching classes as overload during the strike is getting the same per hour salary as they are getting as a regular employee. However, Cheng is not willing to put this in the contract for faculty teaching overload during regular semesters. Double standards, yes! Treating faculty poorly, yes. You know why? We have so many selfish faculty. Perfect example is FSN.

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  62. I do not know what Cheng’s definition of ‘business as usual’ is. In my college, many classes were cancelled. Students were given false hope that there will be an instructor during the next class period. The Dean knew very well that there is no way he can arrange a qualified instructor by the next class period. He still gave false hope to students. According to Cheng, this is ‘business as usual’. Someone please tell Cheng and Nicklow, this is not how we do business at SIUC (Wisconsin, may be). Professor spent many many more hours with students then what they are paid for. Shame on the Deans and Chairs who are blindly following stupid orders from unqualified people sitting in Anthony Hall. WTH is BOT doing?

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  63. What is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts doing? Isn't she on the bargaining team on the BOT side that the FA bargaining team has to negotiate with? COLA is the largest college in the university--does the Dean care about the students and the faculty in her college? what is her allegiance to? As dean of the largest college on campus why can't she exercise her influence on that team? Why do we have puppets on the BOT bargaining team?

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  64. The Administration certainly couldn't have made the claim that it is business as usual if all four unions were on strike. Yes, they peeled off the other three and hoped to isolate the FA. They made a mistake (as several comments here have done) of just counting. If this strike were just 200+ T/TT faculty spread evenly across the curriculum, they might have been able to cover courses with their motley crew of AP, GA, Admin, retirees, and community volunteers. But the faculty on strike are not evenly spread across the campus, and as teachers of upper level courses their expertise is more refined and more likely to impact graduating seniors and graduate students.

    Chancellor Cheng has done her census and tried to low ball the numbers for the sake of impression management. She knows she cannot cover the missing faculty. And if she doesn't settle by early next week or before, her bluff will be called. Meanwhile, the optics on both conventional and new media are not good. Faculty out in the cold, students in empty and shoddy classrooms waiting for them, and she on a plush sofa in a wood paneled office stating, "This cannot be done.". She might as well have said, "We are not amused!" Now Anthony Hall is on lockdown and the Chancellor has a bodyguard to protect her from students.

    She is counting on faculty turning against each other, and certainly a very vocal minority of faculty are critical of the strike and moving forward with their own attempts at union busting. But those of us on the line are holding firm. We know that this is our negotiators' only real leverage, and that it is working. And some of our colleagues on the fence are starting to see that as well and are asking us how they can join us.

    When this is all over, the FA will still be a bureaucratic structure with limited but significant representative sway on this campus. But the Chancellor and the President will have learned an important lesson about the limits of their absolutist approach to power. They will have to learn to lead within quite reasonable limits on their authority. And the campus, once it heals from the wounds of this organizational surgery, will be much healthier. For sure, there will be a period of recovery and we will all have to commit to the metaphorical physical therapy of that, but we will get better.

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  65. Faculty who have been sitting on the fence can do something important now, today. Write your dean and say that if there is not settlement Sunday night you will join the strike on Monday.

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  66. The email to grad students offering them classes to teach in place of striking faculty is real and in hard copy. There is anecdotal data on the $280 per credit hour for doing so. I've heard from 3 sources about this (all 2nd hand) but haven't seen correspondence to that effect.

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  67. I truly hope that both the FA and administration bargaining term are genuinely interested in negotiation and compromise. We need to move on from this. We need constructive dialogue. Unfortunately, most of the comments in this thread (and others on this blog) are not constructive, but rather backward-looking put downs of the administration. I recognize the frustration, but much of the response moves us away from the solution. No one wants graduate students (or anyone other than you) teaching your courses, but you can't blame the administration for trying to minimize the impact. If I was a student I would leave SIUC and blame both sides.

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  68. Big Toe,

    Yes times are tense and emotions are strong. But the fact is that the BOT team would not meet with our team for the last three days. If we want this to end as soon as possible pressure must be brought to bear on the Administration. The most effective means for faculty to do this is to join the strike. I don't have any ill will to those who crossed the picket lines on Thursday and Friday. But they can make a difference by letting the Admin know they will join the strike if there is no settlement Sunday.

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  69. Disgusted--on your irreplaceable nature. I am in the same situation. No one else on campus could have taught my classes on Thursday as I am the only one with the specializations. That is why I taught my classes.

    As Peter Parker learned, with power come responsibility.

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  70. Annoyn 5:29--the Dean of COLA has no power or influence here. Something she has expressed great frustration about over the course of this nasty business since last year. Which you would know if you knew her. Don't start randomly attacking administrators when you don't have your facts together. There are plenty of Administrators to attack in this.

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  71. I believe Parker's uncle tells him: "With great power comes great responsibility." I don't think any of us have been bitten by a radioactive spider, gained superpowers, and donned a vigilante's mask to pursue justice outside the legal system. But if you want to wear the spandex to teach your class, I am sure the Administration won't stop you -- at least not while the strike is still going on.

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  72. 9:52--the Dean of COLA has the power to decline being on the bargaining team. If she is so frustrated, then she can tell the Chancellor to find someone else to bargain on behalf of the administration. And if she is so frustrated, where has she voiced this displeasure? Certainly not publicly.

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  73. Jonny, also didn't Spidey learn this lesson because he stood by and didn't intervene when he had the chance? that seems relevant to this situation.

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  74. My impression from my informal contact with the deans and with friends of deans that they have to follow orders and keep their mouths shut or get out. One dean and one provost chose to get out immediately; other deans are on the job market; and other deans are hoping they can outlast the chancellor.

    Maybe Chancellor Cheng has support among some of the deans, but what I've been hearing is frustration from the deans that they are not allowed to lead their colleges.

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  75. The BOT should fire Cheng, appoint Argersinger‎ as interim Chancellor and then eliminate the office of University President.

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  76. Mike - You have made the argument repeatedly both here and elsewhere that the administration was unable to meet all weekend. However, I've read the last proposals from all sides. The FA's final proposal could hardly be considered any type of compromise. They share fault for the current impasse.

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  77. I agree with paranoid. Everyone has been upset by the high turnover in upper administration, then we attack each new person we get. The new deans and provost have one year contracts and will probably pull a Minish because they aren't really allowed to lead. Nicklow, Warwick, and Kempf-Leonard are reasonable people.

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  78. Mike - While I appreciate your dedication to your stance, I would never strike no matter how bad things got with the administration. I would leave this university before I would walk out on my class. It's just a difference of opinion and priority. I hope you can respect that difference.

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  79. Anonymous 9:52 and Paranoid 10:42
    If the Dean of COLA and the other Deans are so frustrated with the process then why don't they speak up? Why don't they voice their opinion publicly? I agree with ANON 10:00 am.
    The fact that they don't choose to do that tells us that they are more concerned with their own self-preservation. This is similar to what happened when Gary Minish resigned from the Provost position. All the Deans kept quiet and didn't say a word. If the Dean find the bargaining process so frustrating they should all resign from the BOT Bargaining team. Hey, this is the time of the year when we all have to our Ethics training. Let the Deans and others on the BOT bargaining team resign from the team if they find it frustrating. As they choose to stay on the team and they do not voice their opinions and try and influence the process for greater good, they shouldn't be on that team.

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  80. Niklow had Cheng's support from the very beginning. So I doubt if he will ever resign--only if it were to go to greener pastures.

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  81. Plato's Big Toe,

    Yes I respect your view on this. Perhaps you will consider exercising your rights as a citizen or legal immigrant to contact the BOT and state officials to press the Chancellor to negotiate in earnest so this strike can end as soon as possible. You may point out that it is unfathomable that the BOT failed to negotiate for three entire days.

    Perhaps at another time we can debate why we hold the views we have with regard to the legitimacy of a strike as a democratic right in free society. There likely are some industries where you would see a strike as valid tool. But now I am going to prepare for my classes in the hopes that we get a deal Sunday night.

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  82. BTW, we have one member of my dept who will not strike because he was an H1 visa and is concerned he could be deported if he is not employed. However, he has come out and joined us on the picket line.

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