Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Faculty Senate to the Rescue!

Faculty for Sensible Negotiations (henceforth, FSN) has now indeed released a notion of how negotiations would continue after they put an end to the Faculty Association (FA). This apparently in response to email comments that, in keeping with the tenor of my earlier post on this subject, asked them what, if anything, they had in mind by "negotiations". They would simply have the Faculty Senate appoint a committee to do so. Presto!  This plan appears to have been drafted on a cocktail napkin. Their latest email, together with their invitation to a decorous BBQ, is pasted at the end of this post. 

Yes, my tone is somewhat cutting, but this is because the FSN have still failed to show themselves interested in anything other than destroying the FA. They have no substantive positive agenda, despite all their talk of comity. Their Senate proposal is obviously unworkable in its current form. Unless and until the FSN show themselves willing and able to develop a meaningful alternative to the FA, the Senate plan, or any other half-baked alternative they present, will remain a phony proposal meant to present faculty with a false alternative method of negotiation. It resembles efforts by a political party to recruit a fake primary candidates to disrupt the opposing party (as was recently done in primaries in Wisconsin). To be clear, as I've said many times, decertification is a legal and legitimate course of action to pursue. But claiming to be for negotiations by replacing the nasty FA with a nice sounding but phony alternative does not strike me as a responsible course of action. Perhaps the FSN can prove me wrong by developing a responsible alternative route to negotiations. Anyone want to take a bet?  

I am torn between my desire to list all the problems this proposal raises and my desire not to gift Professor Eichholz and his crew with a to-do list that would help them lend their proposal some aura of plausibility. But I think it is incumbent on them, if they are to show themselves serious and responsible, to develop a plan of how this would work. Otherwise they would be asking faculty members to sign a petition and potentially vote on a vague proposal that is no more than a pipe dream, and would be as likely to be brought to fruition as most pipe dreams. In this event voting for the Senate plan would, as I suggested earlier, simply result in the end of negotiations, not the pursuit of negotiations by a more pleasant means. 

I'm no lawyer, but the FSN proposal, that the current Faculty Senate simply appoint a bargaining team to represent the faculty in negotiations, is obviously impracticable and illegal. A Memo of Understanding between the Senate and the FA distinguishes their two roles--a document oft accorded the status of something like the Magna Carta in Senate debates--and would obviously have to be scrapped. The Faculty Senate contains many who are not represented by the FA (NTT faculty and employees on AP contracts), and could not represent faculty or choose those who would represent us. Senators, even those who are members of the bargaining unit, were not elected to represent faculty at bargaining. The Faculty Senate is funded by SIUC, which would have to stop--an employer cannot fund a union representing its workers. Is it legal under Illinois law for a body like the Faculty Senate, even in some reconfigured form, to act as a "exclusive bargaining agent"?  Can the FSN find examples of this on other campuses?  Would the Faculty Senate bargaining team have legal support to aid employees filing grievances? Would it be empowered, as the FA is, to call a strike?  If so, how would the Faculty Senate provide the logistical, financial, and legal backing to make a strike feasible?  Just how long would it take to remake the Faculty Senate into a Faculty Union?  If the Senate would not have the power to strike (the Wisconsin plan), just how could the Faculty Senate bargaining team have any leverage at the bargaining table? Or is the FSN just using the term "negotiate" in a vague sense, short of that of the right to collective bargaining under Illinois Labor law?  In which case we return to Faculty for No Negotiations. 

Those tempted by this plan--and I do not doubt that Professor Eichholz has received many positive emails, though I also suspect he has received many negative ones--resemble, to my mind, Republican primary voters who want another candidate for president--Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, etc. Unhappy with the choices before them, they launch on to the hope for some White Knight to solve all of our problems. But you know what? None of these figures is willing to run for president. Nor, I suspect, is the Faculty Senate willing to run negotiations. And even if it were willing, and could completely reconfigure itself so that doing so were legal, we would soon see, just as primary voters have now seen with Governor Perry, that candidates often look better in the abstract than in the glare of reality. The Faculty Senate is just faculty, faculty who volunteered and were elected to attend one meeting a month, not to run a faculty union. Faculty who disagree with one another as faculty tend to do. I've just been elected to the Faculty Senate, and I believe it has a important role to play on this campus. But this proposal goes way beyond the realm of possibility, as far as I can tell.  

Finally, it would be interesting to see what qualifies as "sensible" for the FSN other than "nice". Would they advocate giving the administration the power to cut our salaries whenever it sees fit (administrative closure days)? Would they advocate giving the administration power to define, declare, and implement a financial exigency policy without meaningful faculty involvement? Would they allow the administration to require faculty members to teach courses in the manner, and place, of the administration's choosing? Would they allow the administration to define our workload as it sees fit? To overrule departmental operating papers whenever it wishes to do so? 

Representing the faculty is hard work. FA volunteers have been doing this hard work for years. If the FSN wants faculty to vote to repudiate all that work, and make all of those volunteer hours an utter waste of time, well, they had better expect some heated opposition. More importantly, they had better be prepared to get working. The least they can do is to present faculty with a real plan. If they cannot do that, they are clearly serving only one purpose: undermining those who are doing their level best to represent faculty at the bargaining table. 

Here's the full email from Professor Eichholz. 

Dear Fellow Faculty Members,

Thank you for the overwhelming positive response to our initial email.  Since the email was distributed, the “Faculty for Sensible Negotiations” has swelled from 20 to more than 140 supporting faculty members who indicate they endorse an effort to replace the FA as our sole bargaining representative, and this number is still growing.  We are appreciative of input from both those supportive and “not so supportive” of our cause and will consider all opinions as we move forward.  In partial response to that input, we would like to provide more detail of how we intend to proceed.  We are in the process of organizing an executive committee that will include faculty from all colleges.  We are also establishing a Facebook page to foster conversation and disseminate information.   We are organizing a faculty BBQ/gathering to facilitate rebuilding faculty collegiality, which we feel has degraded with the current campus climate.  The BBQ is tentatively scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18th at Turley Park.  We will send additional information as soon as it becomes available.

In response to those who requested additional information regarding alternative representation, we suggest that the entire faculty should determine the new form of representation.  We currently propose that the Faculty Senate be empowered to appoint a bargaining team on our behalf.  The Senate already represents the faculty on many other issues and all faculty members have the right to vote to elect representatives to the Senate (and it costs nothing to do so).  The faculty would determine and approve the manner in which the senate would appoint members to our bargaining team (through our operating paper).  The process would be transparent and inclusive of all faculty.  If we acquire signatures from 30% of the represented faculty supporting the Faculty Senate as the bargaining unit, a vote would be held by the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board ( IELRB) that would include 3 choices (FA, Faculty Senate, or no representation).  A representative of the IELRB has informed us that the option of no representation would be required.  In the case of no clear winner, there would be a second vote between the two that received the most votes in the first round of voting. 

Thanks for supporting this effort!

Faculty for Sensible Negotiations


  1. Dave - I will do my best to remain civil because I think that open dialogue is important. First, I will be clear and say that I am not a member of the FSN or the FA. I don't believe for a second that failure to join the FA should limit my right to an opinion on issues of relevance to the bargaining unit. As a tenured faculty member at SIUC, I am extremely unhappy with our current working conditions and I agree with the FSN that the FA shares the blame for the current campus climate. It is time to consider other options. I'm not an expert on these matters, but clearly some of our peer institutions operate without a union and do it quite well. Even at SIUC, the Medical School and Law School are outside of the FAs bargaining unit, yet they are not stripped of tenure or forced into furloughs by this administration. I'm pleased to see that you at least appear to be open to the idea of alternatives. I hope it is not a facade, but I suspect it is.

  2. As I stated in the previous post, faculty senate has no power. Senate’s funding comes from the chancellor's office. As long as faculty senate’s decisions are not binding on the administration, senate has no value. Do you know even the JRB decisions are not binding on the chancellor? It will be foolish for the faculty to give power to the senate in its current form. Make faculty senate true representative of the faculty by kicking all administrators out of senate, make faculty senate an independent governing body (i.e, not under chancellor), and make every decision of the senate legally binding on the administration. FA is the best solution for SIUC faculty at this time.

  3. As a former senator I can tell you that senators work MUCH longer than 1 meeting per month. If that is what you are expecting when you take your seat, better think again!

  4. 1:13: Decertification--not having a union at all--is a legitimate position to back. I think it's the wrong one, dangerously so, but it's legit. What angers me about the FSN is that, unless I'm mistaken, they are pretending to be for something ("negotiations") which they are not really for. Now, no one has named me the Official Arbiter of what's a responsible position and what's not a responsible position to hold, but I've attacked what I in my infinite wisdom have deemed irresponsible positions and statements on both sides, and will likely to continue to do so.

    The analogy to "fake candidates" in Minnesota is meaningful to me: of course the Republican party has the right to run its own candidates, hard, against the Democrats. But when the Republicans ran phony candidates in the Democratic primary, that crossed a line. And, perhaps naively, I expect more of faculty and administrators than I do of political parties.

    If the FSN are really for negotiations--i.e., binding negotiations between the administration and a unionized faculty capable of meeting them on something like equal terms--then well and good. Let them propose a practicable and legal alternative model to the FA. But if they are for surrendering our negotiating rights, and proposals like this half-baked one regarding the Faculty Senate are phony, then they are phony. I respect opponents. I do not respect phonies.

    I'm sure many and indeed most supporting the FSN are on the level, and genuinely want to improve things around here. But I urge them to think through what they want. If they want better but still binding negotiations, they need a real plan. Given the crisis we're in right now, they need a real plan in a real hurry. If they can come up with a real plan, then I've misjudged them. If they don't want negotiations, fine: but say so. If, as I believe, they are trying to have it both ways, they are not, in my opinion, being responsible.

    At this delicate stage in negotiations, a movement for "something different" that isn't for something in particular will in practice accomplish only one thing: undermining the FA. That would strengthen the hand of the administration, and could potentially derail any progress currently taking place at the bargaining table. If there is no progress at the bargaining table, the unions will strike. A strike, in short, is made more likely by the FSN rather than less likely.

  5. Dave - As you know, there is only one way to get other options for faculty and that is by decertifying the FA. Of course we should know what it will be replaced with, but the legal language dictates that the sole representative of tenured and tenure track faculty is the FA. So, yes, the FSN aims to decertify the FA. This is not because they inherently despise the FA, but because there is no alternative. I agree that the onus is on the FSN to clearly demonstrate that we will not be left in a vacuum if decertification is successful. Given the current campus climate, I'm very willing to listen. It sounds like you are too.

  6. If there is a grievance against the administration, who will provide legal support to faculty members in order to fight with highly paid legal team of the administration? Administration don’t even mind paying outside lawyers. SIUC has plenty of money to pay outside firms.

    Would you ask the same lawyers to help you? Funny, isn’t it? I know you will say we have JRB. You should know that JRB’s decision is not binding on the administration. Even if the JRB decision is made binding, who will help you present your case to JRB. You need a big organization like IEA/NEA to help you. Don’t fall for nice talks and apparently sweet deals. I tell my kids exactly the same thing. Read between the lines.

    You just assume faculty at other institutions is happy. Don’t forget that UIC faculty just voted to unionize. It seems stupid when others are unionizing we are talking about decertification of an excellent established organization.

  7. To the previous anonymous - How does this happen at other institutions that don't have IEA/NEA representation? They manage, so this doesn't preclude us from considering other options.

  8. When I bought my house, I asked about the neighborhood, and my realtor answered, "you make your own neighbors". The FA has consistently, over more than a decade, relied on tactics based on attacking the administration (i.e. any administration and for that matter, every administration) and anyone else that does not agree with them. Here we go again! The FA has and is contributing to the overtly toxic environment on this campus and in that sense it is responsible for the existence of the FSN. If the FA were representing ALL faculty (not just the true believers) in a reasonable and professional manner, the FSN would probably not exist.

    There ARE other ways in which to operate, even when differences exist. It is done all the time. Your threat of "heated opposition" is a stark contrast to the calm and reasonable approach that the faculty who have established the FSN, including Dr Eichholz, have taken (thus far). Opposition and differences can be discussed without heat. You might consider taking a leaf out of their book...?

  9. "an excellent established organization"?

  10. Anon 1:13, I am curious how the FA in any way limits anyone's opinions or ability to express them. Unlike the Chancellor or (to date) the FSN, the FA maintains a blog that allows you to express your opinion, even anonymously. (You're soaking in it now.) You can see not only your opinions shared publicly but also the opinions of others. If others disagree with you, patiently or poisonously, that is hardly a limit on your right to have or express an opinion.

    Let me say, though, that I agree with you that the FA shares some of the responsibility for the current campus climate. Let me note that the FA has nowhere near the lion's share in the creation of that climate. Let me further point out that everyone here shares some responsibility for the current campus climate, including those supporting the FSN.

    My problem with the FSN proposal is that it externalizes blame a bit too conveniently (and vaguely!) onto the FA and only the FA. It is and also appeals to supporters who are "not experts in these matters" but are frustrated with the current climate on campus. News Flash: We are all frustrated with the climate on campus!

    I fear, in the not so immortal words of Dr. Frankenfurter, that to decertify the FA "will remove the [alleged] cause but not the symptom." But by all means, FSN, take us up to the lab and show us what you've got on the slab...

  11. Dave,

    Why have you split this thread off of the other that was already running on this topic? The chain of continuity is lost!

    (FWIW I have posted a couple of comments on this topic already in the other thread.)

  12. I can't resist:

    This discussion could use a little light heartedness!

  13. Is it my imagination, or does Dave look like Tim Curry?

  14. Will someone *please* break this chain of continuity? :-)

  15. Let's just continue our friendly debate on the previous post which already has over 90 comments.

  16. Two quick things:

    1. J. Gray: Thanks for the wonderful string of recent comments. But this is not an FA blog, though obviously I am sympathetic to the FA, and now that I have a leadership role in the FA I should be more careful about what I say. Read the disclaimer to the right. While it started as a group project by a couple of people sympathetic to the FA, it has become, de facto, my blog--but only as far as postings go. As things have worked out, much of the energy & content resides in the comments, which I obviously do not control, it has become more of a "faculty blog" than I would have ever imagined.

    2. I thought the Faculty Senate wrinkle to the FSN justified a new post (and hence a new thread of comments). I get to decide on new postings whenever I want to inflate my own 2 cents above their fair market value. That's my reward for running this damn thing.

    3. I do not look like Tim Curry. I look like Dwight Schultz.

  17. Jonathan Gray is right. I have the right to voice my opinion. It just doesn't count.

  18. Anonymous @ 3:51. You guys are so paranoid. How did they have access to all the faculty emails? Maybe something like the staff directory.

  19. I wonder if anyone in this FRN group knows the current President of the Faculty Senate is not even a Tenure Track faculty member? As a matter of fact the two candidates for the job were both NTTs.


  20. Wait a minute! Dwight Schultz doesn't look anything like Tim Curry! :-)

  21. 4:18 PM,

    If you had said to 3:51, "You are so paranoid," I would not object. But you said "You guys are so paranoid." Do you see the difference?

  22. 3:34 PM,

    No one has a right to make others agree with them. If you want your voice to count, pay your dues and vote in any and all FA elections and referendums. Without a union do you think your voice would count for anything at SIUC?

    I voice my ideas here and elsewhere. But I don't whine when others don't jump up and agree with me.

  23. 3:51 PM,

    Calling the FSN faculty senseless and certain Senators lackeys is rude and counter productive. I found "humb" in the urban dictionary. You should retract your remarks and apologize. I would urge Dave to delete your post or others with disgusting sexual slurs.

  24. Off topic--

    Did anyone notice the reorganization of ORDA into OSPA that took place on September 1. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Research/ORDA director retired and is being replaced with a full time Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and half-time ORDA (now OSPA) director.

    As the Research Matters that was circulated yesterday says:

    "In addition, we have decided to focus more effort on providing assistance to faculty and students interested in seeking external support. To do so, we are splitting the AVCR/Director of ORDA position into a full time Director of OSPA, to be hired from the ranks of professional research administrators, and a half time AVCR. We are also eliminating a vacant publications coordinator position, thus taking two administrative positions and converting them to 1.5 positions that are entirely focused on the above objective."

    I wonder if the 1.5 positions cost more or less than the former 2 positions.

  25. Who decided to split the position?
    Answer: one very competent administrator.
    They want to serve faculty interests without asking them what they need. What an excellent way to lead.

  26. I'm a FA member but one holding my nose at the present. I hope and pray that the decertification campaign will moderate the FA. Think triangulation: FA threatens strike to move bargaining along but militants get a little overheated. The decertification campaign _might_ moderate the FA militants because a strike (an actual strike) would surely move many faculty, even FA members, to vote decertification as a "no confidence" vote in the FA.

    Just a theory. Hope it is true.

  27. Point taken, D. Johnson. I also am not an officer in the FA, although I am a member. But I submit that between this blog and the coalition blog, there are more outlets for input and discussion than is provided by the Administration or (to date) the FSN. What would happen, one wonders, if the Chancellor allowed public discussion of those FAQs and emails?

    Currently, the FSN controls the reportage of what emails it has received in response to its call. I am hoping that as they move forward they will provide a more open online venue for discussing their objectives. It only seems sensible.

  28. At this point in time, given what is at stake and what the FA is fighting for, de-certifying the FA will inevitably lead to the de-certification of the university!

  29. To anonymouses 9:48 and 9:59 - The change in ORDA (OSPA) administration was made by John Koropchak to facilitate funded research at this university by providing greater assistance to faculty as they write proposals. This is a good investment, as you know if you've tried to get help from ORDA beyond project budget compliance. I hope we can all agree that it is a better investment than a stadium or logo.

    And faculty were asked, if not directly. Koropchak made the decision (as I understand) after appointing a committee of 5 or 6 faculty members to explore the options and make a recommendation to him. This seems pretty reasonable to me.

  30. Last anon,
    Thanks for the clarification. I agree that the change is a lot better than building stadiums. Chancellor is sending emails every day trying to tell her story and so called “facts”. Couldn’t the same avenue be used to inform faculty and everyone else about the changes they are making which directly related to faculty? Why do we have to read about these things in news articles?

  31. Decertification efforts will results in recertification of FA. FSN and Cheng (who is behind FSN) have miscalculated the FA support. A lot of faculty members who are not dues paying members, strongly support FA.

  32. 8:24 am, Do you have any evidence to support your accusation that the administration is behind the FSN? Such skulduggery would be highly illegal (it could result in jail-time for any member of the administration that was involved) so your accusation is very serious.

  33. Last anonymous - Your assertion that Cheng is behind the FSN are baseless and false. Why is it that anyone disagreeing with you must be on the administration side? And frankly, there are also many faculty that are non-dues paying members that do not support the FA and a fair number of dues paying members that are unhappy with the FA.

  34. Anonymous @ 3:51. You guys are so paranoid. How did they have access to all the faculty emails? Maybe something like the staff directory.

  35. I agree with the previous bloggers that the anon should not have mentioned any name unless he/she knows that a particular person is behind FSN. Did he/she really mean Chancellor Cheng or someone else Cheng? I believe the campus climate is responsible for these types of comments and I blame the administration for creating this climate. Let’s focus back on the issue. I tend to agree that the decertification efforts will recertify the FA.

  36. Actually, who is paying for the FSN hiring of Turley Park and their "Eagle's Nest" barbecue next weekend? If not you-know-who, then this non-dues paying alternative certainly has a lot of affluent members who do not need a Union. They certainly regard the other unions who have voted for a strike with disdain. Why shouldn't they? "I'm All Right, Jack."

  37. Anon 9:56: Sounds interesting. Yeah they took from something like the staff e-mail directory. LOL.

  38. 12:14, Are you suggesting there is something wrong with that? Or that its not possoble? Every department published the names and email addresses of its faculty, there's peoplefinder on the SIUC home page etc. SIUC email addresses are public information.

  39. "Decertification efforts will results in recertification of FA. FSN and Cheng (who is behind FSN) have miscalculated the FA support. A lot of faculty members who are not dues paying members, strongly support FA"

    Great, so they should appreciate this vote of confidence/no-confidence. Even politicians have to run for re-election, you know. Why not sunsets on union elections? (Reauthorize every ten years). That's not the current law but the principle might be worth considering.

    I can already hear the comeback: why not vote on the administration? Well, I've seen chancellors come and go, several flamed out and left. But the union is here forever without reauthorization?

  40. 11:39, Who pays for the hotdogs? I can easily assume the cost of the informal cookout will cost a mere fraction of one FA members dues...and it will all be spent in the local economy. If that defines affluence we can all be so fortunate.

    Seriously, is that even germane to this important discussion, unless you serious question whether the administration is paying.

  41. Everyone just needs to chill out with the conspiracy theories and what-not. It is giving those of us who are trying to be a) rational; and b) hopeful that a strike can be averted a huge migraine right now.

    Echoing Dave J., decertification is a legitimate position to take. Indeed, under federal and state labor law, it is the ONLY mechanism available for individuals who want to change the union that represents them.

    Now, I do not support decertification. I want to still give union democracy a chance; I want to see still whether there are enough sober, realistic individuals in the union leadership that we can get a good-enough contract (for now) and avert a strike. I think most of us would agree that a strike would be a tragic outcome here - both to our students this semester but also to the chances that we all can pull together afterwards to face the very real challenges of this university.

    While I do not support the decertification efforts, I can see some of their point of view. The union's supposal on financial exigency, for example, seems rather extreme. It is not in line with what the vast majority of institutions do when FE occurs (which is very rare as it is tantamount to saying the house is on fire), and it places so many checks on the BOT's fiduciary responsibilities to basically nullify them and make the FA co-administrators of this university. Prove me that I am wrong here - I am just a regular rank-and-file FA member - but it seems crafted a) with a tremendous amount of distrust toward the administration; and b) crafted as an extreme bargaining posture that makes a compromise less rather than more likely. I might be willing to grant that distrust is warrantable toward Cheng; I, too, am suspicious of her and resent her demonstrable lack of communication skills toward faculty on this campus. That being said, some trust will be necessary to get an agreement here, and I think the FA needs to show some leadership on that. The FA supposal on FE just doesn't do it for me.

    Again, before I get accused of being in bed with Cheng and an "administrative lackey" or whatever other epithets people imagine, I voted yes to authorize a strike should it become absolutely necessary. I am glad that bargaining seems to be occurring in earnest; I am disgusted like many that it seems to have taken over 450 days and a strike threat for this to occur. I hold the administration largely responsible for creating this mess. That being said, I am not "my union right or wrong." The union has not been blameless on this either.

  42. I am expecting subsequent Cheng e-mails to begin making references to the FSN, albeit perhaps obliquely.

    The thing is that her past oblique references to this and that and the other have all been distortions and obfuscations (to use the more polite terms).

    On the other hand, it is clear that the whole concept of the FSN did not get off the ground, so perhaps it will fade back into the shadows from whence it came.

    But if it does, have no doubt that some other interesting specter will soon emerge.

  43. Thanks for the last, 3:47. Rational and calm folk can indeed disagree on whether the FA's supposal on FE was a good place to start bargaining (by proposing a maximal role for the faculty) or too extreme, as you suggest. Unsurprisingly, I would take the former view rather than the latter. Come to the membership meeting Thursday at 5:00 and you'll get an update on FE negotiations, and have the chance to hear a bargaining team member discuss the FA's current position there, and the administration's current stance.

  44. Thanks Dave J. I have been coming to every union membership meeting since I joined the union. I have also thoroughly read everything on the FA's website. So I definitely will be there on Thursday!

  45. Disgusted, The FA's position on financial exigency may seem "rather extreme" but SIUC has always been a rather extreme place since the administration arbitrarily fired faculty in 1973. They are already planning to do the same soon since the appointment of a new flock of higher administrators will need money for their six figure salaries. Obviously, discontinued faculty lines will provide it in the same way that the furlough went towards Rita's hiring of Chicago firm she had dealings with for years. They could not have designed a worse logo if they tried and maybe they were pushed towards this. A university design unit was closed down and the Arts and Design people were not consulted. These were two groups who knew the local area and could have designed a better logo. Nobody wants a strike but the extreme actions have come from Cheng and if she gets her way, this place is ruined. So go to the meeting, listen to what is said, and view skeptically those who wish to undermine what is going on in the belief that they will save themselves. They will not since they will be the first ones to go.

  46. I view everything that I read or hear skeptically, as well as anybody who is a professional researcher. I am also leery of "group-think" and conspiracy theorists of all kinds! I was not on this planet let alone here at SIUC in 1973 - I only came to this university four years ago. Perhaps I haven't been around here long enough to acquire such a distrust toward the administration as 6:07 seems to exhibit in her/his post?

    I also agree that it would have been better for the folks in Art and Design to have been consulted on the logo. Ditto with complaints about Saluki Way. Okay, fair enough. All I can say is that it takes two sides to make a place dysfunctional and with all the vitriol spewing forth on this and other blogs lately, it makes reasonable people wonder whether those who yell "extremist" at the administration every time are not themselves a little bit extremist.

  47. anonymous at 6:07 said, "So go to the meeting, listen to what is said, and view skeptically those who wish to undermine what is going on in the belief that they will save themselves. They will not since they will be the first ones to go."

    Please explain this statement, as it sounds like some sort of threat. I am becoming paranoid or do I misread the last sentence.

  48. I often think that the chancellor's public remarks are insulting and may serve to strengthen the union coalition. At the same time, is it appropriate for the same coalition's paid IEA rep to publicly refer to two administrators as self righteous bastards as he did two hours ago on the GA United blog? Is this the way to generate public and faculty support? What about reaching an amicable agreement?

  49. Anonymous @8:45. I think the IEA rep was referring to the story that was posted from the southern and the lawmakers not the administrators.

  50. Anonymous (8:45 PM):

    After digging and digging through the GA United blog, I discovered that the comment from Jim Clark was on their Facebook page. Jim may not have realized what we try to tell students all the time: assume that whatever you post on the Web, even in a "private" space like Facebook could become public.

  51. Where is the Sunday cartoon? I love these cartoons. In a few words, the author is able tell a lot.

  52. Anonymous, 6:07 - This is not a threat but a desperate plea to go to this meeting, listen carefully to what is being said, and perhaps contribute to the debate. The last sentence refers indirectly to the FLN who do not realize that if Cheng wins they will be the first to go as new Deans often do to their supporters, even though they may be Chairs. In 1995, some Chairs lost their positions. Now, supporters of a regime that has imposed a contract abolishing tenure may find they have no protection if their Chancellor wins. As Dave's blog on this issue has shown, the FLN are really against negotiations so they will not attend this meeting.

  53. 11:34, what you say is so conspiratorial and illogical it makes my head spin. Let me get this straight. Those that organize to voice an opinion different than the aggregate opinion of the FA are likely to loose their jobs if and after the Chancellor "wins", what ever that means?

    As to attendance at the upcoming FA meeting you mention, you should note that to my knowledge only dues paying members have been invited to attend. If you do not hear dissenting opinions expressed it could be because they have been asked to pay for the right to participate.

  54. So Dave, still think that insisting on Fair Share in the next contract is a wise idea?

  55. Anon at 11:34 maintains that tenure has been abolished.


    News to me.

    Can someone explain more? Or is this poster just bloviating more union mis-information?

  56. To Anonymous (9:27 AM):

    Dave did not write that insisting on Fair Share was a good idea. He wrote that Fair Share was a good idea. Dave has acknowledged several times that Fair Share is controversial enough that insisting on it may not be a good idea.

    Actually Dave's reason for thinking that Fair Share is a good idea are the similar to FSN's reasons for wanting some representation other than the FA, to encourage moderation.

    Whether they realize it or not, FSN's Faculty Senate proposal comes awfully close to a call for Fair Share. If the Faculty Senate is given bargaining power for the Faculty, it becomes, de facto, a union, and it would have the legal responsibilities of a union. It would have an obligation not just to negotiate for a legally viable contract and also to enforce it. In other words, the Faculty Senate, at the very least, would have to hire a lawyer to assist in negotiations and to file Unfair Labor Practices complaints if the university fails to uphold its part of the contract. Faculty Senate representation no longer would be free, despite Mike Eichholz's claim to the contrary. (Well I guess it could be free, but producing legal documents without the assistance of the lawyer is not sensible or responsible, so I'll assume that FSN would be sensible.) Faculty Senate would then have to force all faculty to pay for a lawyer (Fair Share) or take up a collection from the willing (what the Faculty Association does now).

  57. Paranoid,

    Interesting post. But lets not forget that your stance is very pro FA and your is de facto putting words in the mouth of the FSN. They have not proposed fees of any kind and unless you know something we don't, you are not a spokesperson for the FSN.

  58. Anonymous (11:37 AM):

    Sure, but as I noted, negotiating a contract for the faculty without legal assistance would be irresponsible and insensible.

  59. How did Mike, E (who says he is representing the so-called Faculty for Sensible negotiations) know all the tenured and tenured faculty e-mails? A couple of people have said that it is a no-brainer for after all the e-mails are there in the faculty directory. However, I would assume that a lot of time would have been needed to get a complete list of all the e-mails together. I wouldn't at all be surprised if they were provided with a listing of all the e-mails by the administration (the same mailing list used by the administration). I am sure that these FSN folks are also probably against fair-share. Would they give up all the benefits that the Faculty Association has garnered for them? No, they are probably happy being "free riders"! Fair share and the FA is the only way we can hope to save this university from de-certification!

  60. Just to kick the tires a bit on this Faculty Senate idea... The Faculty Senate is made up of representatives from the faculty, elected by the faculty without the need to pay dues to participate in the election. How could Faculty interests be LESS represented by the Faculty Senate than by the FA, whose representatives have been elected by dues-paying members who number less than half the faculty?

  61. "How did Mike, E (who says he is representing the so-called Faculty for Sensible negotiations) know all the tenured and tenured faculty e-mails?"

    Deep breath. . . OK, do people realize there is cheap or free software to grab email addresses from web sites? I use emailgrabber. Go to a directory, let it now how many levels to "burrow" and - zap - you got hundreds of emails. I haven't tried it on the SIU directory but this is Geek 101 (or maybe 102). So stop with the conspiracy theory!!


    Just one of many.

  63. How to get faculty e-mail addresses in 8 simple steps (if you aren't a geek, or at least that kind of geek!).
    1. Go to Salukinet and search for any e-mail address containing "siu". Note that this step only returns 2000 entries, requiring a different approach.
    2. Search by first letter of last name, starting with "a".
    3. Copy results to a spreadsheet.
    4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 twenty five more times, changing the "a" as needed.
    5. Eliminate entries that do not contain "professor" (note that this keeps "Assistant Professor", "Associate Professor", etc.).
    6. Eliminate law school and med school faculty.
    7. Eliminate department chairs by consulting departmental web sites.
    8. Check that the list results in approximately 700 names - it does at 677.

    Steps 1-6 take about 30 minutes – less really. Step 7 takes about 30 minutes.

    It is ironic and unfortunate that some don’t think that faculty are capable of doing something without help from the administration.

  64. (1) Can someone name a university where a Faculty Senate negotiates labor contracts?

    (2) Anyone can put together an e-mail list. They had all summer to work on it. Even working buy hand if all 20 of the core group got 35 addresses they would have it done. It is a non issue.

    (3) Tenure has not been abolished. It has been weakened. It may be Rita would never abuse the additional authority she has gained. But we don't know this and we don't know what the next chancellor will be like. However the attempt by our Dean (COS) to fire four NTT faculty in my dept and the removal of our chair for not going along, shows that power can be abused. We tend to take these threats as being remote and abstract until they happen. Other campuses have seen attacks on physics and philosophy depts by bean counting administrations who fail to understand the core intellectual reason for having a community of scholars.

    (4) I agree with FA critics that the original FA supposal was unrealistic. But it was a starting point for negotiations. The FA has negotiated several contacts now. This is Rita's first time. Maybe she will get better at it. (I have had some real misgivings about her leadership style, but I try not to demonize her. Maybe next time she will agree to Interest Based Bargaining.)

    (5) I am planning to go to the FSN BBQ because I think face-to-face communication is important (so much for DL!) and because since they have gotten raises because of my dues I figure they at least owe me a free meal! ;-)

  65. Anon: 9:03. Since you have benefited from union gains from the last contract, the least you can do is pay your contribution and attend the meeting. Also, as the imposed contract clearly shows, Cheng has undermined tenure and academic freedom on this campus. A new contract muct be negotiated or you (and others, including myself) will be automatically fired.

  66. 4:20 PM,

    You wrote: "A new contract muct (sic) be negotiated or you ... will be automatically fired."

    Such hyperbole would not be tolerated in a Freshman English paper. You cannot expect to be taken seriously if you write like that.

  67. [Eye Roll] - We have been over and over (and over an over!) the nonsense: the union negotiated raises; you don't like the union; give back the raises. The union also took away the right for individuals to negotiate for themselves. Give me the right to negotiate for myself and I will happily negotiate my own salary and benefits.

  68. 5:10 PM,

    I don't know how long you have been here or just who above you are arguing with. Before there was a union pretty much the only way to negotiate a raise was to get a competing offer. You can still do this and you can still negotiate a raise with your dean.

    Now it may be you asked your dean for a raise without having a competing offer and he or she said, sorry I'd like to but the union won't let me. They were not being honest with you. With no union it was near impossible to get raises without competing offers.

    And hey, I don't want you give back your raises. I'll settle for some free BBQ!

  69. We received raises before the FA and after the FA. Whether the FA negotiated higher raises than otherwise would have been granted is arguable and unprovable either way.

  70. There is nothing to argue. Just look at the promotional raises before FA and after FA.
    *******Before FA
    $125 from Assistant to Associate
    $250 from Associate to Full
    ********After FA
    At least $600 from Assistant to Associate
    At least $1,200 from Associate to Full
    Most of the FA leaders who fought to got you these raises never received for themselves because they were already full professors. If you don’t want to join FA, even if you received substantial raises, it is OK. I am willing to pay for you. But at least have the decency to thank FA and its leaders for fighting for you.

  71. Yeas, these free-riders forget that they owe it to the Faculty Association for the raises that they've got and other benefits. The FA really needs to emphasize the importance of fair share in their negotiations.

  72. Without the FA, I would have negotiated better raises in line with my peers at other institutions. The FA should pay me the difference!

  73. The FA's stance re salaries ensures that merit is a minimal or non-existent consideration in determining raises awarded to faculty. That stance crushes motivation for excellence since it rally does not matter whether you do a good job or not, you will get the same anyway and if you do bust your butt to excel, the guy/gal down the hall who is not pulling his/her weight will get the same raise as you anyway. Its been going on for years.

  74. The notion that I could have done better for myself is selfishness. Today you may be in good books with Cheng and may get some special treatment as she has been giving to her supporters. Think long-term. One person may gain at the expense of others. I feel proud to say that I am one of the most productive faculty members at SIUC. I believe I have received my fair share of merit raise, plus a lot more. There is no way I could have received the kind of raises during the last four years if it were not negotiated by FA leaders. Look at your pay checks before making comments. In fact, Poshard and Cheng believe we received a little too much raise in the last four years and that is why they want some of it back.

    Don’t be fooled by “I have good intention, believe me.” If administration has no intention to lay off faculty and infringe on academic freedom, how hard is it to put it in writing; just put them in the contract and save the university.

  75. 9:03 said, "I believe I have received my fair share of merit raise, plus a lot more. There is no way I could have received the kind of raises during the last four years if it were not negotiated by FA leaders." Then said, "In fact, Poshard and Cheng believe we received a little too much raise in the last four years and that is why they want some of it back."

    If you received more than your "fair share," then the Chancellor and President SHOULD want it back in order to reward those who merit an increase. This is how a good university is managed. Reward those that contribute most to the mission of the university. Use resources to attract and keep the best in their disciplines, rather than make across the board raises that are not tied to merit.

  76. Re: Anonymous 10:08 PM
    YOu do have an outsized opinion of yourself! How do you come to the conclusion that you are more meritorious than others? What is the basis of your conclusion? How do you know that some are more meritorious than others? How are you measuring that? what is the yardstick that you are using? How do you know who is the best in each discipline and across disciplines? what criteria are you using to determine that?
    Across the board raises + merit raises are needed. How will you deal with the yearly change in the cost of living? Those who retire and are drawing a pension also get an annual increase to deal with the increase in the cost of living.

  77. A quick news search found a couple of universities where the Faculty Senate sought out a union:

    I think the latter state group is affiliated with the NEA but not sure if you have to PAY to the NEA as well as local/state. People forget that before the mid-1970s, local ed unions could pay local OR local/state OR local/state/NEA. Then the NEA forced you to pay for all three. Since many of us oppose the NEA for supporting political causes unrelated to unionism, "fair share" has become ever more contentious. (Yeah, yeah, I hear it already: "unionism" embraces everything. Butterfly effect of "seemingly" unrelated issues like abortion.... The union doesn't just take care of workers, it must take care of Society - and charge accordingly. $630, please. . .

  78. Jon,

    But I'd expect you to find cases where the Faculty Senate is a union--the cases you cite actually tell against the FSN proposal, don't they?

  79. It seems like they do, Dave. Now, in an ideally functioning university, the FS would have some real teeth and perhaps the FSN people would have a point that a union was not necessary. I would really love for this place to become less adversarial and more like other universities where "shared governance" actually exists.

    I think it is important for all of us to remain cool and rational over the next few weeks. Even if miraculously we avert a strike by any of the four unions on campus (not a safe bet by any means right now), administrators as well as union stalwarts will have some degree of repair work to get this place back on track.

  80. Dr. Kleinau, emeritus professor of speech communication, has just articulated the thought that I have been struggling to say all weekend:

    From today's DE (online version):

    "It would seem to this writer that the first victim to fall by the wayside has been the trust that is so vital between faculty and administration. We will not be able to move forward together unless that trust is reestablished. And it would seem to this writer there is only one way to do this now.
    The union has to believe Cheng will honor a reasonable assurance for tenured faculty and Cheng has to believe the faculty have earned a right to play a role in determining which faculty are fired and which are retained. In other words, there is no guarantee of continuous employment for tenured faculty in times of financial exigency in the contract but, in the contract the chancellor will assure the faculty, just as we do now, they will have a voice in determining who will be fired."

    I think we can all start the healing process by remaining civil and respectful toward one another. Regardless of how this all plays out, we will all have to work together when it is finished.

  81. When a broken thread is joined again, there will be a knot. Cheng has created this mistrust. She has demonstrated clearly ( at least to me) that she does not know how to lead. We will be better off firing her and other top incompetent administrators she hired. After what she done so far it will be hard to trust her. I will certainly try only if she settles the contracts soon.

  82. I found Dr. Kleinau's opinion illustrative. I thought it diagnosed the problem well but was light on treatment. How do we build trust with an administration that says one thing and does another? Chancellor Cheng is almost masterful at speaking from a place of parental concern, always casting the faculty (and especially the FA) as irresponsible and childish. On the one hand, we represent the brainpower of a national institution; on the other hand, we lack the expertise to evaluate or even offer feedback to her budget and accounting. On the one hand, we need unpaid administrative "closures" to balance our budget; on the other hand we can spend over half those savings on a rebranding campaign that involves almost no substantive input from those directly involved with the brand.

    How do we build trust with an administration that continues to centralize power (in the name of "flexibility") and undermine shared governance?

    I am willing to remain calm and remain civil. But I also remain firm in my conviction that these administrative trends that have continued to erode trust must be stopped and, if possible, reversed. I wish contract negotiation wasn't the place to try to make this happen. I am sorry that it has taken the strong threat of a strike to get the administration to begin negotiating in good faith.

  83. Actions, NOT talks, are needed to build trust. Cheng’s administration has lost credibility. They need to do a lot of work to gain respect from employees and build trust.

  84. I don't disagree - but the onus is on each one of us to build back trust. When we go around and use heated rhetoric and engage in conspiracy theories, we aren't doing our part in helping to build trust.

  85. Trust is indeed a two way street. Why should the administration just automatically trust the FA given all the false rhetoric and mis-information spouted on a daily basis by union members...FA and others? The personal attacks are over the top, too. Talk about no credibility. I'm sure the demonstrations planned for this week on campus won't do a lot to foster trust. Seems to me that the big issue right now relates to financial exigency, not marketing or Saluki Way. Who really thinks that casting the financial exigency issue, or even the furlough days, as an elimination of tenure or an attack on academic freedom fosters trust of the FA? Sure, it whips the troops into a frenzy, but it doesn't help matters at the bargaining table.

  86. Trust is a two way street, maybe, but the administration is driving a Mack truck past (through?) a bunch of cyclists on that road. The administration demanded furloughs, tweaked policy to make them "unpaid administrative closures," declared impasse unilaterally, and then imposed new terms "contracts" instead of simply extending the old ones. The unions rightly and legally filed a ULP suit, but that will take some time to wend its way through legal channels. Bikes move so much slower than trucks, you know.

    The unions waited a VERY long time before voting to strike. They did so following every requirement of the law. As a result of the abuse on the road (and NOT their rhetoric), all four voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike. And yet, even now they work to overcome the Chancellor's "disappointment" at those votes in hopes of averting that strike.

    One side can carve days out of the our paychecks, wants the power to layoff with impunity (but "trust" us, we promise not to), and can generally dictate terms unilaterally about how this place will work; the other side engages in an ongoing and often public debate (often as not with itself), sometimes characterizes the other side harshly in its frustration, and in extreme conditions can (with appropriate and carefully monitored steps, and with considerable harm/cost to itself) collectively agree to withhold labor.

    It may be a two way street to trust, but the one we find ourselves on is not one where power flows equally. Beware that powerful HONK coming from Anthony Hall.

  87. "When a broken thread is joined again, there will be a knot. Cheng has created this mistrust. She has demonstrated clearly ( at least to me) that she does not know how to lead."

    I've been here 17 years and the trust issue goes way back. In fact, I can't think of a single chancellor well-liked by the faculty. Distrust seems core to SIUC's identity. Cheng didn't create it - it was here and she too is in the middle of it.

    BTW, why this focus on Cheng? Perhaps the knowledgeable FA people can explain to me what role she would have in determining the Board's position at the bargaining table? Doesn't the Board play a bigger role? And the board has often had LAWYERS so presumably they know (or think they know) something about how to play the game. Lawyers thrive on adversarial positions. That's not all bad, it just is.

  88. I've only been here a quarter of the time Dr. Bean has, but I will also agree that this distrust seems to predate Chancellor Cheng's arrival on campus last fall. And it is a very big problem long-term if we don't try to address it. I will agree that administrators need to play a big role in restoring trust on this campus, perhaps even the larger role, but so do we. The students we teach depend on it.

  89. A reply to the good Dr. Bean, though he's been here longer than I. FA-administration relations go up and down. In 2003, we came close to a strike, but in 2006 things went rather smoothly, as both sides agreed to and for the most part implement "interest based bargaining". And for a decent chunk of time relations between the FA and administration were pretty good. Few grievances went all the way to arbitration, for example, as most were handled through other channels. Relations with Provost Rice and the FA were pretty good on the whole, I think. Things turned pretty quickly to the worse in the summer of 2010, when the new Chancellor arrived, swept the upper administration clean of many with long experience at SIUC, and started hardball negotiations with the unions.

    I don't believe the Board gets actively involved in the details of negotiations. There are of course many people (some with more experience and contacts than I, and not all of them FA stalwarts) who believe that Poshard and/or the BOT hired Cheng to "break the unions", but I don't think there's any firm evidence for that. The current BOT isn't monolithic: two voted against the recent slate of administrative raises, for example.

    Related to the trust issue is the competence issue. Even if faculty trusted the good intentions of our administrators, would we or should we trust their judgement? Who was the last successful Chancellor of SIUC? Not all those failures were caused by the FA--in fact it is hard to see how the FA is to blame for any of the series of failures we've had over the decade plus I've been here.

    By the way, while writing this comment, I just looked for the "Hall of Chancellors" that used to be on the website and couldn't find it--damnatio memoriae seems to have taken hold in a more thorough way than the Romans ever managed. Unless I'm missing something, as far as the SIUC website is concerned, The Chancellor has always been and will forever be Rita H. Cheng.

  90. Hall of Chancellors

    Chancellor Samuel Goldman, 2008 - 2010
    Chancellor Fernando Treviño, 2007 - 2008
    Interim Chancellor John M. Dunn, 2006 - 2007
    Chancellor Walter V. Wendler, 2001 - 2006
    Interim Chancellor John S. Jackson, 1999 - 2001
    Chancellor Jo Ann E. Argersinger, 1998 - 1999
    Chancellor Don Beggs, 1996 - 1998
    Chancellor John C. Guyon, 1987 - 1996
    President Albert Somit, 1980 - 1987
    Interim President Hiram H. Lesar, 1974, 1979 - 1980
    President Warren Brandt, 1974 - 1979

    President David R. Derge, 1972 - 1974
    President Robert G. Layer, 1971 - 1972
    President Delyte W. Morris, 1948 - 1970
    President Chester F. Lay, 1945 - 1948
    President Roscoe Pulliam, 1935 - 1944
    President Henry W Shryock, 1913 - 1935
    President Daniel B. Parkinson, 1897 - 1913
    President Harvey W. Everest, 1893 - 1897
    President John Hull, 1892 - 1893
    President Robert Allyn, 1874 - 1892

  91. And the new logo has been and always will be our logo.

  92. Catching up re merit pay. The administration has now made a formal salary offer to all the NEA unions of 0%/1%/1%/2% (i.e., 0% for last year--when we actually lost 2% for furloughs--"culminating" in the 2% in the 4th year of a contract) all of it across the board. This presumably because dividing up such puny raises (which are almost certain to fall short of inflation) for merit, equity, etc., would be ridiculous.

    So while I know there are genuine debates about what chunk of raises should be for merit versus other things (across the board, equity, longevity to counter salary compression, etc.), in the next few years that won't exactly be our most pressing concern, even if we end up with better raises than the BOT is currently offering.

  93. A few things....

    1) re raises, while I would certainly like more pay, as we would all, I am not sure that we will get much better than that, frankly. It sucks but we live in a world of 9% national unemployment and in a state that's broke. Three years from now likely will be a different story.

    2) You may dismiss Kleinau's argument about the need for greater trust on campus (in your other thread) but I think he is actually trying to think past the current labor dispute. As a young tenure-track scholar whose book just got published recently, I have actually for the first time thought about possibly looking on the market. Not because I dislike my colleagues; my colleagues are fabulous people and are indeed one of the main reasons why I decided to come to SIUC four years ago. Ditto regarding our students. No, the reason I have opened that door is because I am asking myself do I want to be part of an academic community where there is no trust between faculty and administrators?

    So, the question I ask is how can we be creative about restoring trust on this campus after the current labor dispute is resolved? (And I would think it will be resolved this semester one way or the other).

  94. Disgusted, I feel the same way. It is my colleagues and students that keep me here. I was on the faculty at a few other universities before this one. One was a small, private liberal arts college without a union. What it lacked in faculty input it made up for in lots of money to spread around. No graduate students, but I often pine for that first job and wish I had been on a TT line there.

    Another private university had a very strong union that was well respected by the upper administration. We got a new dean in my time there who had no idea how to deal with a union or a faculty used to robust shared governance. He tried a very heavy handed approach to the college and ended up being fired for it. We left at the same time, he in disgrace, and I wooed not to leave for SIUC. Another decision I, on occasion, regret.

    So yes, we can leave and we should all weigh our options. Even in a downturned market, there are appealing opportunities out there. But I haven't yet explored those because I feel like my students, my colleagues, and my program are all worth "fighting" for. Plus, ive grown quite fond of Southern Illinois.

    Contrary to what the Chancellor sometimes claims, I am not averse to change and recognize the need to adapt to the changing times, from technology to budgets. But I resent a trend over the last few Chancellors to ignore the local talent and to force their vision with a heavy hand. We each have a role to play in that change, and I am not happy about the way my role as well as the college deans roles are being reduced in that change.

    I believe Chancellor Wendler grew as an administrator, as at least partially demonstrated by a better second round at contract negotiations (and discounting plagiarized vision statements, of course). I hope that Chancellor Cheng will, too. I know from past experience (here and elsewhere) that the heated rhetoric will die back (but not completely, for some) when we have a contract. But I agree, looking at that list and remembering why we lost some of our recent Chancellors, that it wasn't that the FA or any other union that ran them out of Anthony Hall.

    Further evidence, I believe, that the Administration has the greater role to play in (re)building trust.

  95. Oh, Democracy! Join or Die...and if you’re opinion is in the minority, then just form your own Join or Die group and have a BBQ.

    I don’t support Fair Share but that doesn’t keep me from being a member of the union. It’s ludicrous to think that members of a group will completely agree with the group’s full credo. Doesn’t change come from working within the group? Seems the FSN proponents would have more success by joining the FA group and working with other members towards reasonable goals. I’m not naïve but I believe there is more room for flexibility within than with out.

    Some statements made to the effect that faculty not in support of the FA are fearful of retributions is curious. Granted, there are boiling pots in the FA ranks but there are boiling pots among the non-dues paying members as well, so buck up all.

    And, as Paranoid said, “Whether they realize it or not, FSN's Faculty Senate proposal comes awfully close to a call for Fair Share. If the Faculty Senate is given bargaining power for the Faculty, it becomes, de facto, a union, and it would have the legal responsibilities of a union. It would have an obligation not just to negotiate for a legally viable contract and also to enforce it. In other words, the Faculty Senate, at the very least, would have to hire a lawyer to assist in negotiations and to file Unfair Labor Practices complaints if the university fails to uphold its part of the contract.”

    The Chancellor is here today but, based on SIU's administrative history, could be gone tomorrow. If there is a shortage of trust among some, could it not be due to the lack of stability at the top? With the exception of Wendler, SIU hasn’t had a Chancellor for longer than 2 years since Guyon’s 9-year reign that ended in 1996. (Thanks In Memoriam for that data.)

    The buck stops here: Poshard and the BOT

  96. I guess more information will trickle out in the coming days, but what I heard earlier tonight at the FA membership meeting did not encourage me. At some point, and I would think fairly soon, we are going to trust the administration on SOMETHING if a contract is going to be won. Otherwise we are headed for a strike.


    I won't cross a picket line, so I will honor one if we ever get there, but I would much rather prefer that we work out a compromise. And for that, we are going to have to trust the administration, AT SOME POINT.


I will review and post comments as quickly as I can. Comments that are substantive and not vicious will be posted promptly, including critical ones. "Substantive" here means that your comment needs to be more than a simple expression of approval or disapproval. "Vicious" refers to personal attacks, vile rhetoric, and anything else I end up deeming too nasty to post.