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.
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:
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:
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.