Harriet Murav and Joyce Tolliver on Shared Governance

Over the last weekend and following Michael Hogan’s resignation, CFA President Harriet Murav sent a message to  members reflecting that the change in administration might be due in part to the extensive organizing conversations we have been holding on campus.   Harriet’s message brought a reply from Joyce Tolliver, long-time CFA  member and former president of our organization. Professor Tolliver is also a past president and current vice-president of the Academic Senate.  We publish the correspondence here, with a final comment by Prof. Murav, and we encourage you to add your thoughts and comments.

Dear Colleagues,

CFA and its organizing efforts have augmented the voice of faculty on this campus in significant ways. Would our Senate or the chaired faculty or faculty at large have signed letters and petitions so readily if we were not organizing? Faculty clout has just received a boost on our campus. Our common work has made a big difference toward our goal of collective bargaining, which brings the force of a contract to our faculty voice.

Regardless of our administrators’ efforts to contest the union at UIC, we know that we share a community of interest among our contingent and tenure-stream faculty. We know that our solidarity can and will bring a new configuration of power to this campus.

 I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to this activity.

Professor Harriet Murav

From Professor Tolliver:

Dear friends, 

Indeed, it’s possible that the  change in leadership announced last week might not have occurred were it not for the fact that members of our campus community stood shoulder to shoulder against a presidency that refused to participate in or to  respect the deep and wide consultative process that is fundamental to our campus culture.  I am grateful to my CFA colleagues for the part you played in this demonstration of solidarity.

I want to remind folks, however, that the Senate has been working  tirelessly since early fall of 2010 to protect our campus from threats to shared governance, starting with our close reading of the statutory revisions and resulting statement advising against them, to the formation of the Working Group on Multi-Campus Universities, to  the Statement on the role of the chancellor, the request for a university-wide summit, and on and on.

This constant and intense defense of the consultative process is a central function of the Senate. When our administrative leaders enact shared governance, as they usually do, it’s not necessary. During the past year and a half,  it was. 

We responded as we did not because of the union drive, but because it’s what strong Senates do, and will continue to do. 



A final note from Harriet Murav:

Dear Joyce,

First of all I would like to thank you on behalf of CFA for all your efforts in the Senate, particularly during the latest events surrounding the resignations  of Michael Hogan and Lisa Troyer. Your work and that of all the Senate has been indispensable in that regard. You and I both were treated to some of Lisa Troyer’s vivid rhetoric, and I am proud to be in your company.

We are also grateful for your response to my letter and your willingness to dialog and help build a more powerful voice for faculty on this campus.   As you know, this year we have spent much of our time talking to colleagues on this campus.  In fact, we  have spoken to over 500 faculty members since September. In our conversations  we constantly stress  the importance of shared governance, and emphasize that we see our goal of collective bargaining as a complement to  the central role of the Senate.  In my statements to the press and in all the talks I give, I always stress the importance of the Senate.   In this vein, we look forward to further discussion and collaboration  with you and other Senators in the future in order to enhance the role of faculty in the decision-making process of this university.

Once again, we thank you for your ceaseless work  and heroic efforts.


Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

2 thoughts on “Harriet Murav and Joyce Tolliver on Shared Governance

  1. Dear Readers,

    I was alerted to the above posting today by several friends and supporters.

    How disappointing that some in positions of potential influence continue to misrepresent the facts.

    Contrary to Murav’s statement aligning herself with Tolliver, nothing I said was “vivid rhetoric.” It was truth. The campus was consulted both on my original tenure appointment (Board, chancellor, and provost approved in 2010) and on my return appointment to the faculty (chancellor handled as is appropriate). Those who have published mistruths about my appointments and other relevant facts (including Tolliver, Murav, and Moore who misrepresented the nature of my faculty appointment, among other issues) may be subject to defamation litigation.

    The law is very clear that individuals who speak or write openly in public forums, declaring themselves as representatives of organized groups and/or who have a professional role that requires them to know the facts and speak truthfully are personally accountable, as are their organizations. Defamation is not voided by the First Amendment, by academic freedom, or by unionization efforts.

    I’ve done nothing wrong. I never have. I suggest that others who seek to speak or publish publicly about me make sure they know the facts.



  2. Dear Lisa,

    I believe Harriet Murav described your rhetoric as “vivid” because you described her and Prof. Tolliver as “blood thirsty” in a public statement in the News-Gazette. How describing that usage as “vivid rhetoric” is in any way defamatory or libelous is beyond our imagination.


    Susan Davis, website editor

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