Dear Alma| “Very Special” and “Statis N. Xiety”

Dear Alma — I’ve heard it said that “non-tenure track faculty is a contradiction in terms.”  What could this possibly mean? — A very special faculty member.

Dear Spesh – Don’t know what it could mean.  In our view, any person who is paid to teach a course at this university is a member of our faculty and deserves respect and fair treatment. Hope this helps.

– Alma

Dear Alma — I heard that the non-tenure-track faculty would have control of a union and tell the tenured faculty what to do, and if we get a union we’ll have to follow instructions from outside people who don’t even have masters degrees? Can this be true?  Dr. Statis N.  Xiety, Phd.

Dear Professor N. Xiety, if I may,

What you’ve heard is not true. According to Illinois court rulings, there would be two separate bargaining units, one for tenured and tenure-track faculty, and one for non-tenure-track faculty (or “specialized faculty.”)  In each bargaining unit, we would make our own decisions, and negotiate our own contract through our popularly-elected leadership, based on the issues each unit decides are most important.  Although it makes a lot of sense for the two bargaining units to coordinate their efforts, there are different  issues each will have to address.

— Have a great weekend, Alma

Published by Susan Davis

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

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