Friday, August 26, 2011

"Informational Picketing" for Thursday 9/1

Here an announcement in which I shed my kinda objective sorta journalistic blogger hat for my union activist cap.

The campus IEA unions are holding an "informational picket" on Thursday from 11-1, on the campus side of route 51 near the intersection with Grand Avenue. The basic message we hope to send is that the administration needs to get serious about bargaining fair contracts with the various union campus--in order to prevent information picketing from the upgrade to strike picketing. Below you should see a flier announcing the four union rally/picket to be held on Thursday. Do feel free to copy, print, and distribute widely if you are so inclined. Other fliers are also making their way around campus.

A strong turnout for this event will be crucial to applying pressure on the administration to get moving at the bargaining table. If lots of people show up, the administration may feel a greater need to adopt a more flexible bargaining posture and hence prevent a strike. 

In the interest of fair play, I'd be willing to post announcements for any "Save Our Administration" rallies as well.

sept 1 dmj

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday roundup

The DE featured three rather different stories on issues of interest to readers of this blog.

1.  420 Days without a contract.

Commentary after the break.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

ACLU Meeting on Academic Freedom and Tenure

Rich Whitney will give a talk on Academic Freedom and Tenure: What does the Constitution Protect? at the annual meeting of the Southern Illinois Chapter of the ACLU.  The meeting will be held at 7:30 pm on September 7th in the Lesar Law building on the SIUC campus. Further details are available via an online announcement here.

Welcome back

A quick positive post while we are busy getting the semester underway. It is great to have the positive energy on campus of new students making their way around the place. It's fun seeing them lost in Faner, and trying to help them out. Not because I enjoy seeing students lost, but because it reminds me of how much they can change and grow here. Those familiar with my bike rack post (et al) know that I am fond of seeing large things in little ones. That goes for good as well as ill. So seeing students learning their way around campus functions for me as a metaphor for what our students can learn here: how to find their way around other things, though their chosen academic disciplines, into and through more thoughtful lives. Those wide open eyes (even behind the sunglasses of the graduate student pictured below, who's studying for the PhD in campus geography, navigation of Faner Hall) are a large part of what keeps all of us energized and excited ourselves, year in and year out.

Clicking on this photo, stolen from the Southern, will take you to their story on the start of the semester. 

And, in case you're wondering, there was still room at the bike rack this morning. Perhaps we will all be okay, one way or another.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cheng on WSIU (2): Budget, Athletics, and the Golden Fleece

Let me start out with what I consider the Chancellor's most significant mispresentation of the facts. I will mark it with our first ever Golden Fleece designation.  (I am a classicist, after all, though this usage mangles the classical reference).  Jennifer Fuller did a rather good job of asking the Chancellor some challenging questions.  The Chancellor's responses, were, in some cases, truth-challenged.

Golden Fleece #1.  Fuller noted our observation that SIUC actually received more money in tuition and fees last year than the year before (this at about 14:00 into the interview).  Cheng responded that that's a good thing, because faculty got $500,000 in promotional raises last year.  What she didn't mention was that, even including these raises (earned fairly by promotions to associate and full professor, as the Chancellor noted), SIUC spent approximately $1.8 million less on Faculty in FY 2011 than FY  2010 (as so many Faculty lines have been left empty).  Oh, and add the $1 million extra they sliced off via furlough days.  So let's check the figures . . .

The Chancellor said that SIUC spent $500,000 more on faculty last year.

In fact, SIUC spent $2,800,000 less on faculty last year.