Our Weekly Reader for the Week of 3/10/13

Lots of uncertainty this edition. What’s going to happen with SEIU? What’s going to happen with our pensions? — Bruce

1a. As of this writing, there is no public information about whether SEIU will call a strike, and when. And, as the News-Gazette astutely observes: “The Campus Faculty Association has been holding a food drive and fundraiser for SEIU’s members this week.

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/politics-and-government/2013-03-09/seiu-members-voting-contract.html

http://www.dailyillini.com/news/campus/article_60a6e9c0-8832-11e2-87d4-0019bb30f31a.html

1b. Support for SEIU, as shown by your CFA, the GEO and the Illinois Student Senate.

https://cfaillinois.org/2013/03/07/day-of-service-for-service-workers/

http://www.uigeo.org/2013/03/09/geo-supports-seiu/

http://www.dailyillini.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/article_9bb985ba-87a4-11e2-9d8e-001a4bcf6878.html

http://www.dailyillini.com/opinion/article_93295b96-87a4-11e2-b8b3-001a4bcf6878.html

2a. Pensions — Gov. Quinn released his budget message this week.

http://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=2&RecNum=10980

For general responses, see the E-news at the end, especially 3/6 and 3/7.

http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/quinn-pushes-pension-changes-in-somber.html

2b. Specifically on pensions, the first test vote on a “reform” which passed the House was to limit the pensionable income to the larger of the current income and the salary level at which Social Security benefits are capped, which is currently $113,700.

http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/house-takes-first-affirmative-vote-on.html

2c. Here I’m including the latest from suaa.org, along with a plug to join them. In the absence of a faculty union, they are the only ones fully representing us in Springfield.

Winter 2012-2013
Why be a Member of SUAA?
Click Here to read the pdf

March 5, 2013
actionTrack Report Pension Reform 03.05.2013
Click Here to read the report

March 5, 2013
actionTrack Report Health Care 03.05.2013
Click Here to read the report

March 5, 2013
Full actionTrack report 03.05.2013.pdf
Click Here to read the report

March 6, 2013
Mini Briefing 03.06.2013
Click Here to read the Mini Briefing

March 8, 2013
actionTrack Report Pension Reform 03.05.2013
Click Here to read the report

2d. Finally on this topic

http://www.governing.com/blogs/view/gov-top-4-myths-about-public-pension-retirees.html

3. Bad behavior by various administrations all across the country and right here at home. More in the e-news. One gets tired of cutting and pasting.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-fbi-probes-niu-20130308,0,1279731.story

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/nyregion/john-sexton-is-tested-by-nyu-faculty.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/education/harvard-searched-staff-e-mails.html?hp

4. A behind-the-pay-wall of the Chronicle of Higher Education article by Peter Schmidt which begins

“The University of Maryland at College Park is poised to embark on an unprecedented effort to improve the conditions of its faculty members who are off the tenure track. The campus’s University Senate, which represents faculty members, administrators, students, and staff members, is scheduled to vote on Wednesday on an internal task-force report that extensively documents the disparities between different categories of faculty members there and proposes sweeping changes intended to give non-tenure-track faculty members more pay, job security, respect, and clout.”

The full article can be found in the 3/5 e-report on pp. 35-38.

5. Miscellany on integrating international students, Ohio unilaterally trying to increase faculty teaching load

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/03/04/international-educators-consider-challenges-integrating-students-abroad#ixzz2MZjYDBjd

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/03/04/plan-increase-faculty-workload-ohio-resurfaces-budget-bill#ixzz2MZhtZ3Mj

6. And finally, a brilliant series in Doonesbury on the impending privatization of Walden College. The week starts here:

http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/2013/03/04

“By re-imagining Walden as a profit-driven institution, we’ll be able to shift scarce resources from instruction to marketing.”  The two constants in my life since college have been the brilliance of Doonesbury and the grooviness of mathematics.

==== From the U of I e-news ======

3/4 — p.1 (Crain’s) “Three Illinois schools have top global reputations” We’re number 24! (Down one in the Times Higher Education rankings. No word about the coach’s poll.)
3/4 — pp.18-23 (various) On the state budget
3/4 — p. 24 (SJ-R.com) “AFSCME deal offers raises, but more costly health insurance”
3/4 — p.25 (N-G) John Kindt’s oped supporting HB 2375 pension “reform”.
3/4 — pp.35-36 (Trib) “Leadership flap is latest woe for Chicago State”
3/4 — pp.37-40 (Chron) “College boards use personality tests to probe minds of would-be presidents”
3/4 — pp.45-47 (NYT) “Keeping an eye on online test-takers”, see 3/3 OWR
3/4 — pp.52-54 (NYT) “More than one NYU star got lavish parting gift”, see 3.3 OWR for Lew.
3/4 — pp.57 (Chron) “Plan to increase faculty workload in Ohio resurfaces in budget bill”

3/5 — pp.4-5 (NG) “Commencement speaker selected”
3/5 — pp.21-24 (IHE) “ACE doubles down on prior learning assessment”
3/5 — pp.27-29 (Chron) “As colleges evolve, so must their presidents”
3/5 — pp.35-38 (Chron) “U of Maryland weights big changes for faculty members off the tenure track”, see above.
3/5 — pp.39-40 (MercuryNews.com) “Stanford’s wake-up call: university wants more classes to start at 8:30 am”

3/6 — p.4 (DI) “Commencement speaker not a good reflection of employee relations”
3/6 — pp.6-10 (various) On Gov. Quinn’s budget
3/6 — pp.11-15 (various) On the ballooning tuition cost at public universities
3/6 — p.20 (Sun-Times) “Watson got high marks”, more on Chicago State

3/7 — pp.1-2 (N-G) “UI research center in Singapore `in full swing’ // Board of Trustees meeting today in Urbana”
3/7 — pp.3-4 (N-G) “Talks on honorary degrees could be violation”
3/7 — p.12 (oddly unsourced) “Details of AFSCME tentative agreement revealed” (This affects SURS health costs, see suaa.org 3/6 minibriefing above)
3/7 — pp.14-20 (various) Responses to Gov. Quinn’s budget.
3/7 — p.23 (Trib) “NIU police hit with search warrant”, see above
3/7 — p.24 (Sun-Times) “Chicago State’s chief a `true leader'”, op-ed by Emil Jones.
3/7 — pp.32-34 (USA Today) “Major college AD’s averaging more than $500,000 in pay”, that is per year, not per month.

3/8 — pp.9-10 (NG) “House supports salary cap on pension”
3/8 — p.13 (Sun-Times) “Orwellian rhetoric at Chicago State”, one faculty response to 3/7 Emil Jones op-ed
3/8 — p.15 (NYT) Thomas Friedman’s column on MOOC’s.
3/8 — pp.21-22 (AP story) “Surge of international students pays off in diversity, revenue.”
3/8 — pp.27-28 (IHE) “Open source textbook company shifts tactics in fight with publishers”

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