In The News

You may have missed it amid the finals hoo-hah, but Hector Reyes (Physical Science), Rochelle Robinson-Dukes (VP, CCC faculty and professionals union), Dolores Withers (President,  clericals’ union), and Floyd Bednarz (President, adjuncts’ union) wrote a letter that garnered some national news coverage. The comments section of the latter is particularly interesting, I thought. There’s even a cool image on the HWC union website that you can print out and put up somewhere if you’re of a mind to do so.

In other news near and dear to Hector’s heart, AAUP investigators issued a report condemning the President of Northeastern Illinois for retaliation against a professor there (coverage here and here).

Shared Governance Back in the Spotlight

Apparently it is a topic of interest and discussion in many places.

A few years ago, organizers at the American Association of University Professors had to cancel a conference on shared governance for lack of interest. This year, they gave it another shot and were pleasantly surprised, to say the least: applications flooded in and they ultimately had to turn people away….

Attendees found solidarity among others who are fed up with similar experiences. A common theme of the workshops and panels was the loss of faculty consultation during financial crises, with panelists drawing on their institutions’ experiences to offer advice and strategies to preserve shared governance. Audience members frequently chimed in with questions, and articulated their feelings of exclusion from administrative budgetary and academic decisions.

While the us vs. them mentality was certainly expressed by many attendees, it wasn’t omnipresent. A handful of panelists took the opposite approach, pairing educators with administrators to demonstrate that it is indeed possible to work in harmony — and echoing the conference theme that it’s wrong to do anything but.

The rest is available HERE.

Good Time to Be a “Union Shop”

The AAUP is out with new research on faculty salaries, and the news, unsurprisingly, is not that good.

“Over all, salaries for this academic year are 1.2 percent higher than last year, the smallest increase recorded in the survey’s 50 years — and well below the 2.7 percent inflation rate from December 2008 to December 2009.”

Though, it should be noted that not many people earned raises last year. There surely would have been a nasty backlash if faculty had earned large average gains amid the economic circumstances of 2009.

Still, it’s good to be aware of the trends.