Friday, June 24, 2011

Show Me the Money

The IEA mobilization committee is going to hold another "collective action" event at noon next Friday, July 1st, the first day of the fiscal year.  We're calling it the "The Show-Me-the-Money SIUC Campus Tour".


We (and yes, I'm afraid I'm involved) plan to meet in front of Morris Library at noon and proceed to other key locations including Faner Hall, Woody Hall, Anthony Hall, and McAndrews Stadium. At each stop, we'll have a brief presentation and discussion about what each place reveals about SIUC's fiscal priorities and what we see as a consistent de-prioritizing of quality education. We anticipate that the entire tour will take less than an hour. To introduce a playful element, we're encouraging people to dress as tourists, so consider pulling out your bermuda shorts and tropical shirts, and bring along your cameras. We also hope to circulate a satirical campus map. 

Commentators here are welcome to suggest their own stops and commentary for the Money Tour, whether to help us with ideas for our own tour or to get a virtual version of the tour going here.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

SIUC in the NEA "Advocate"

One of the little perks of NEA membership is receiving their bimonthly newsletter. Yes, this sounds rather dull and, yes, for my first few years as a member I sent it straight to the recycling bin myself. But then I started reading the cover stories (which usually introduce some pedagogical issue) and began to appreciate it. SIUC is the only campus I've been on that doesn't have a high-profile "center for teaching and learning" or the like that puts out new teaching ideas on a regular basis, so this NEA publication fills that void for me. I've picked up some good ideas there. The June issue of the newsletter has a number of short articles on teaching portfolios; like all such pedagogy items, it also contains a helpful bibliography, including many items readily available online.

The Advocate also contains a updates on union news on the higher education front. Which brings us to my excuse for blogging this, a quotation found on page four of the June issue.
You can't solve a problem if one side chooses to impose its position without compromise. That leaves the other party with the sole option of taking its own unilateral action.
Those words were uttered by our own Natasha Zaretsky (of the History Department), as part of the statement announcing the filing of intent to strike notices. Like many a benefit of NEA/IEA membership, this one can be had for nothing--by surfing to the NEA higher ed website.  Or you can join the union and pay your fair share and get it in the mail.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Endowed Chair Appears in Foreign Languages & Literatures

Not particularly well-endowed, but apparently a lifetime appointment.  

Wisconsin update

As you've probably heard, Wisconsin public sector unions have lost their battle in state court to declare Governor Walker's measure (the one gutting their collective bargaining rights) illegal.  The legal issue at stake was whether or not the State Senate violated Wisconsin's open meeting law when it scheduled a hurried vote when most Democratic state senators were off in Illinois; the court didn't rule on the substance of the measure.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has an update on the latest efforts by the unions to counterattack.  They've got a two-pronged strategy, political and legal.  They're trying to oust the Republican majority from the state senate via recall elections, and they are filing a suit in Federal court that claims that Walker's efforts to exempt certain union workers (notably the popular firefighters and policemen's unions, which also happened to support Walker's election) from his ruling violated the 14th Amendment's call for equal protection under the law.