Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Tuesday morning update

A local update on top; updates from Wisconsin, EIU, and SIUE after the break.

The DE has an article that does a nice job of summarizing President Dunn's interview with local news radio host Tom Miller. Highlights (most covered in the DE story) include the following:
  •  We're "six to nine months" behind EIU, "particularly on the Carbondale campus". EIU has seen 177 layoffs and faculty are currently voting on a plan to defer $2 million in salary dollars until EIU sees an infusion of cash from the state. An update from EIU is below the break.
  • Senate Bill 2059 is probably the only way universities are going to see money this year. Dunn noted that it passed the House with 70 votes, including one Republican (who represents Charleston, home of Western Illinois). It takes 71 votes to override a veto. Dunn suggested that Rauner can sit on the bill for 60 days before vetoing it, leading to a veto override attempt in late May.
  • Cut programs on the Carbondale campus are likely to be cut for good, and would include many of things, introduced in the Delyte Morris era, that made SIUC into a nationally recognized research university. 
  • Faculty with grants are looking to move elsewhere (see the story below on Wisconsin). 
Dunn seemed eager to convince people in the region that he isn't crying wolf (I'll note that's a legacy of past administrative exaggeration about budget cuts). When noting dire things on the horizon, he several times included the phrase "particularly on the Carbondale campus". This suggests what we might have guessed otherwise: we're in worse shape than SIUE. I suppose in parts that's because our research programs would be cut before revenue producing undergraduate programs go, in part it's because SIUE has seen enrollment gains in recent years.

The online news site Slate ran a story yesterday titled The End of Research at Wisconsin. The thesis of the story is noteworthy: the evisceration of tenure means that Wisconsin is having to shell out millions in research support dollars as counteroffers to faculty with grants who are tempted to take new jobs at institutions that still have tenure. But those millions won't lure new faculty to Wisconsin, and the loss of tenure undermines the integrity of ongoing research projects there.

The Urbana-Champaign  TV news is covering the faculty vote on salary deferral at EIU. The story includes a quote from the EIU President, who isn't happy with some of the terms in the union proposal, which has strict terms for repayment of faculty salaries in the event the state begins to fund universities again. And here's a story from their campus newspaper on the vote. It looks like it will pass, though the union and administration may have further negotiations to tend do. See my older post for more details.

T/TT colleagues at SIU-E are pushing unionization, and have formed a Faculty Association affiliated with the IEA. Here's a news story (which mistakenly suggests 400 faculty already support unionization--that's the total number of T/TT faculty at SIUE); here's the SIUE-FA web site.


  1. Also, Dave, don't forget the other story about SIUC administrative bloat. Just because an Institute supports the other side does not mean it is always wrong. Again, the silence from the FA is deafening. Do they really know what a Union is all about? Being silent will not save their necks.

    1. Thanks: missed that story in my haste to wrap up the post this morning. I'll return to it next time I blog.


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