Resolution of Support for GEO

Campus Faculty Association expresses its support for GEO. The teaching
labor of graduate students is essential to the teaching mission of the
university. We call on university administration to bargain in good faith to
avoid a strike.

The formation of GEO helped to pave the way for NTFC, Local 6546, a
union of non-tenure faculty. The possible suspension of tuition waivers is one
of the contentious issues in GEO’s negotiations with the university. Even if
confined to professional degree programs, such a scenario could have a
negative effect on all graduate programs, leading to the end of all graduate
programs.

If a strike does occur, we urge all CFA members to refrain from reporting
graduate students who participate in the strike. CFA will honor the union’s
action and support faculty and students who teach in alternative spaces.

November ExComm Meeting Recap

The executive committee met on Monday November 6 at noon at our office in the Y. We continue to work to define our mission, especially our short and medium term goals for the year.
The committee discussed the state of GEO contract negotiations. Two action items emerged. A statement of CFA support for the GEO is in the works, so please watch for it on our website. Jessica Greenberg has taken on the job of compiling a list of spaces close to campus that could be used as alternative classrooms in the event of a strike. The list will be posted on our website with contact information. Faculty can make their own arrangements for space. The CFA will reimburse for the costs.
We are activating our website to notify our membership about issues on campus. Please watch our website for blog posts.
We plan to organize a speaker to address concerns about free speech on campus.
Our next meeting will be on Monday December 11 at noon. We welcome all members.

CFA Fall General Meeting Recap

Hi CFA Members and Friends,

We had 25 people come out for our fall general meeting last Thursday. Thanks to all of you who made it! For all of those who sent regrets — here’s a recap.

Our lively discussion generated two immediate priorities:
1. Joining the Homecoming Parade protest on Friday October 27 at 6:00 pm
2. Support for GEO in their contract negotiations, especially tuition waivers

In terms of our next priority, there are at least two action items.
1. A letter and a campaign in support of our graduate students, their tuition waivers in particular
2. A list of alternate places where classes can be held so that we can respect the picket lines

Please let me know if you’d like to work on either of these projects. We need to get going soon.

We would like to grow the membership, and we’re looking for one or two people willing to chair or co-chair the membership committee. Please let me know if you’d like to serve.

I’ve had two wonderful volunteers to serve on the communications committee. Thank you Harriet and Terri!

Our next executive committee meeting will take place Monday November 6 from 12-1 in the CFA office. Please join us — there’s candy!

See you all soon.

Warmest wishes,
Dana
CFA President

2017 Undergraduate Social Justice Scholarship

The Campus Faculty Association is proud to announce that we are awarding up to five $1000 scholarships for undergraduate students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to social justice in the community.

Winners will be chosen on the basis of their commitment to social justice in the community. To be considered, an undergraduate must be currently enrolled as a student in good standing at the UIUC with at least one more semester of study before graduation. Preference will be given to students who will be involved in social justice activity during the period of the award.

Applications must include a curriculum vitae, a short (250 word) essay describing the student’s involvement in social justice work, and the name and contact information for one reference who can speak to the student’s record in this regard. We will begin to accept applications on September 15, 2017, and applications are due by November 1, 2017. Awards will be announced at the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester.

Social justice efforts may take many forms, including volunteer and paid work. Although usually performed through the auspices of a non-profit organization, it may also involve a less formally structured activity. Whatever form it may take, such activity is not simply charity work but an effort that seeks to improve the living and working conditions for less advantaged members of the community in concrete and sustainable ways. Examples include work associated with: labor organization and strike support; patients’ rights; civil rights; housing assistance programs like Habitat for Humanity; food pantries and food delivery programs; incarcerated people’s rights and education; early childhood development programs; shelters for homeless people and battered women; immigrant rights; and so on.

Please submit applications to campusfacultyassoc@gmail.com. All application materials should be submitted as a single .pdf file.

Five Students Honored for Social Justice Work

In AY 2016-2017, the Campus Faculty Association awarded five $1,000 scholarships to students engaged in outstanding social justice work on campus and in the community. All recipients are students in good standing who have been enrolled during the 2016-2017 academic year. Recipients were honored in February at an awards dinner at the Bread Company in Urbana.

Jacob Akstins, who is earning a B.S. in Actuarial Science with a Business minor, has served for two years as Nugent Hall’s Multicultural Advocate. He educates residents and residential life staff about social identity. He is currently leading a committee with Beckwith to run AY 2016-2017’s Disability Awareness Program with the goal of teaching others about accessibility on campus.

Perry Cline is earning his BSW in Social Work. A formerly incarcerated student, Perry works with a community re-entry program, First Followers, which assists formerly incarcerated people in their search for employment, education, and housing. His future professional goals include working with people who have experienced addiction and incarceration.

Hannah Jarman is a double major in Global Studies and Communication. She is currently the president of the UIUC Chapter of Amnesty International; her work has focused on immigrant rights, legal services, and access to healthcare. She is currently engaged in helping C-U becoming more welcoming for immigrants.

Karen Olowu, who is majoring in African American Studies and Urban and Regional Planning, is a founding member of Black Students For Revolution (BSFR). BSFR is a group of black and brown students seeking radical transformation in higher education. She has also served as vice president for the Student Pan-African Movement.

Muhammad Yousuf is majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Political Science and Gender & Women’s Studies. He has been active in Students for Justice in Palestine, including serving as president for two years. Recently, he has collaborated with Black Lives Matter in his campus activities and work to combat the proposed sales tax increase, which would expand the Champaign County jail.

Undergraduate Social Justice Scholarship

The Campus Faculty Association is proud to announce that we are awarding up to five $1000 scholarships for undergraduate students who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to social justice in the community.

Winners will be chosen on the basis of their commitment to social justice in the community. To be considered, an undergraduate must be currently enrolled as a student in good standing at the UIUC with at least one more semester of study before graduation. Preference will be given to students who will be involved in social justice activity during the period of the award.

Applications must include a curriculum vitae, a short (250 word) essay describing the student’s involvement in social justice work, and the name and contact information for one reference who can speak to the student’s record in this regard. We will begin to accept applications on September 15, 2016, and applications are due by October 15, 2016. Awards will be announced on December 1, 2016.

Social justice efforts may take many forms, including volunteer and paid work. Although usually performed through the auspices of a non-profit organization, it may also involve a less formally structured activity. Whatever form it may take, such activity is not simply charity work but an effort that seeks to improve the living and working conditions for less advantaged members of the community in concrete and sustainable ways. Examples include work associated with: labor organization and strike support; patients’ rights; civil rights; housing assistance programs like Habitat for Humanity; food pantries and food delivery programs; incarcerated people’s rights and education; early childhood development programs; shelters for homeless people and battered women; and so on.

Please submit applications to campusfacultyassoc@gmail.com. All application materials should be submitted as a single .pdf file.

AAUP delegate statements against lifting censure now

 

Statement by Harry Hilton, Chapter President, AAUP, Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering

Let me assure you that my campus colleagues can and will vouch for me that in the 6+ decades that I have been on the UIUC faculty, I have never been an administration apologist. I supported and voted for censure in both the Koch and Salaita cases.

The June 13, 2015, AAUP UI censure resolution did not carry any suggestions as to requirements for removal from the list. Joerg Tiede, AAUP associate secretary, indicated that the following needed to be observed: “The process of censure removal has usually three elements:

  1. some measure of redress toward the person or persons affected,
  2. changes to policies that would prevent a recurrence of the issue that brought about the censure,
  3. an assessment of the climate for academic freedom from a representative of the Association.”

The following is a short summary of the current status on these pertinent topics:

1. Salaita Settlement

The mutually agreed to settlement between the Dr. Salaita and the University satisfies Item 1.

2a. Improved University Hiring Policies

On May 2, 2016, the UIUC Senate passed amendments to the University Statutes that will correct certain current deficiencies. When approved by the other two Senates and the Board of Trustees (BoT), new operational protocols will include

  1. no one will be allowed to perform university services prior to receiving a Notice of Appointment (NOA) with an appropriate prior starting date
  2. approval of appointments below the rank of dean will be delegated by BoT to the president who in turn will delegate this authority to the chancellors

Before disapproval of a proposed tenured or tenured track individual appointment by the provost, chancellor and/or president is announced proper consultations should take place with the committees and unit heads that forwarded the recommendation. The UI and UIUC administrations have agreed to follow these shared governance procedures. In the meantime, the UIUC provost has issued appropriate procedural directives to implement additional definitive hiring procedures and timetables. These are currently operational and will prevent any reoccurrences of past deficiencies.

2b. Academic Freedom

Official written policy statements have been issued by the UIUC chancellor, UI president and the Board of Trustees president reaffirming their individual and institutional support of the AAUP principles of academic freedom as spelled out in the AAUP RED BOOK.

2c. Shared Governance

The Provost, in conjunction with the Senate, created Provost’s Communication No. 27, Shared Governance for Academic Units. Additionally, the president, vice president for academic affairs, chancellor and provost have been extremely outgoing and frequently meet with faculty, staff and student groups, including UIUC AAUP chapter representatives. Our concerns have been listened to and many suggestions have been implemented.

I have asked the provost to implement the following: When units file their promotion dossiers the provost should require certification by the unit head that shared governance procedures are specifically included in the unit’s bylaws and cite examples where these procedures were applied and observed by the unit. I am confident that these procedures will be implemented starting with the Fall 2016 promotion cycle at UIUC.

I also draw you attention to the fact that UIUC has a new interim chancellor and interim provost who have worked tirelessly and successfully to improve conditions on the Urbana campus. However most importantly, former chair Chris Kennedy has departed from the BoT and with him are gone his misplaced micromanagement style and his much too frequent preemptive interferences in traditional faculty decision making prerogatives.

3. Visit by AAUP Representative

I have made arrangements to be available during such a visit and am prepared to testify and fully answer questions.

Removal of the University of Illinois and UIUC administrations from the AAUP censure list

While we commend President Killeen, Interim Chancellor Wilson and Interim Provost Feser, who supported and instituted numerous changes in improved procedures and University as well as UIUC climate, we would prefer to wait for the BoT decision on statute changes pertaining to shared governance, which remains as unfinished business. If censure were effectively to be removed today, pending the Association’s representative’s campus visit and favorable report, BoT would have no incentive to accept the three senates’ approved statute amendments.

————————————————————————–

 

Statement by Bruce Rosenstock, AAUP delegate to national convention, Associate Professor of Religion

As Harry Hilton [president of the local AAUP chapter] has pointed out, the administration of President Killeen and Chancellor Wilson has taken important and significant steps to rectify the causes that led to censure. I will remind the convention, however, that shared governance at Illinois, as elsewhere, also includes faculty, students, and their representatives in the Academic Senate. They too are engaged in work to rectify the causes that led to censure, but their work has not yet reached completion.

Over the past 18 months, shared governance process at the University of Illinois has gone through three very important steps: (1) on December 12 2014, the Hiring Policies and Procedures Review Committee published a report recommending changes in the approval process for faculty appointments; (2) on March 9 2015, the UIUC Senate  endorsed these recommendations and mandated the University Statutes and Senate Policy committee to determine how to amend the university statutes to implement those recommendations; and (3) on May 2 2016, the UIUC Senate approved the proposed statutory amendment for transmission to the Senates of the other campuses and ultimately for consideration by the Board of Trustees.

The statutory amendment asks the Board of Trustees to delegate hiring authority for academic personnel below the rank of dean to the President of the University, who is empowered to delegate it in turn to the appropriate officers and bodies at the various campuses.

It would a disservice to our three Campus Senates to essentially discount this work, to say nothing of undercutting whatever chance this work has of actual success, if we lift censure before the Board of Trustees is presented with this statutory amendment.

The process of finalizing this statutory amendment for presentation before the Board of Trustees will take up to a year, so it is not appropriate to expedite the lifting of censure at this time. We may return next year to hear a resolution to lift censure despite the amendment having been rejected by the Board of Trustees, as is possible. At that time, we may all choose to honor the impressive work undertaken not only by the administration but also by the shared governance bodies in all the University Senates. Honoring all the shared governance work done by all parties — the administration, faculty, and students of the three campuses — to rectify the causes of censure, we may then decide to vote in favor of  lifting censure, if Committee A so proposes.

We have nothing to lose by waiting a year for the shared governance process of statutory amendment to reach completion. And we have much to gain if the process is successful. But we completely disrespect that process and those faculty and students who have devoted many hours of their time if we choose now to expedite the lifting of censure by delegating our authority in the matter to Committee A.

The UIUC local AAUP chapter therefore respectfully asks the delegates to vote “no” on the resolution put forward by Committee A. We ask you to respect the ongoing work of our three campus Senates in their efforts to rectify the causes that led to the censuring of our University. Let us return to this question next year, if Committee A feels prepared at that time to recommend a lifting of censure. Please vote “no” on this resolution and demonstrate your respect for the ongoing efforts of shared governance at Illinois, which are a response to one of the structural causes that led to censure.

Translation of Provost’s interview in News-Gazette

Original document: the Provost’s interview in the News-Gazette (April 21, 2016).

Detect language: admin-speak

Translate into: reality

Administrators want multiyear contracts to be based on merit and performance…

Translation – Administrators have set up a system that excludes almost all non-tenure-track faculty from multiyear contracts. The system is working! Merely 19 non-tenure-track faculty members campus-wide have multiyear contracts.

The hundreds of non-tenure-track faculty members at UI-Chicago who won multiyear contracts through their union bargaining must be undeserving.

Feser noted that most UI employees, aside from tenured faculty, are “at will” employees without multiyear contracts…

Translation – The administration regards everyone except tenured faculty as disposable. Non-tenure-track faculty should stop agitating for a better deal.

“we do not regard questions of academic freedom as a matter of wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment”

Translation – The administration sees no need for non-tenure-track faculty to gain contractually enforceable procedural rights in academic freedom cases (as is the case at UI-Chicago). Such contract rights would force the administration to follow its own rules.

Translation of Chancellor’s massmail and bargaining position

Original documents: Chancellor’s massmail (April 19) and administration bargaining positions on non-tenure-track faculty union contract

Detect language: admin-speak

Translate into: reality

  • Multiyear contracts should be based on performance and evaluation.
  • Performance evaluations are too difficult, and so the administration refuses to agree to them in the union contract.
  • The administration is not responsible for the fact that only 19 non-tenure-track faculty members across campus now have a multiyear contract. It’s just too difficult.
  • Academic freedom is good at the University of Illinois. See: AAUP Censure List.
  • Non-tenure-track faculty members subject to non-renewal at any time with no explanation should naturally trust the administration to safeguard their academic freedom.
  • Failure of the administration to safeguard academic freedom cannot be challenged under the contract, even if the administration violates its own stated procedures.

Non-tenure-track staff deserve fair contract

This article appeared in the News-Gazette on April 17, 2016.

By Susan G. Davis and Richard S. Laugesen

Members of the Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Local 6546 (the union for non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Illinois) voted on April 6 to authorize a strike. For 14 months these faculty members tried to negotiate a first contract with the administration, to no avail. Even the presence of a federal mediator has not helped. A strike is the last resort. The Campus Faculty Association strongly supports our non-tenure-track colleagues in this difficult period. Here’s why:

More than 500 non-tenure-track faculty members teach, perform research and run labs on campus. They are paid just a fraction of the salary of tenure-stream faculty, while teaching about 40 percent of undergraduate classes. But the dispute is not about money — it is about job security and educational quality.

Multiyear contracts for long-serving faculty members are the central issue. Non-tenure-track faculty members are asking for two-year contracts after five years of service, and three-year contracts after 10 years of service. This basic guarantee would help faculty members prepare new courses effectively, and assure students of continuity and quality in instruction.

The university claims it has procedures in place already for multiyear contracts, but refuses to write those procedures into a binding contract.

Meanwhile, the provost’s own staff admit that fewer than 4 percent of non-tenure-track faculty members across campus (only 19 of them) currently have multiyear contracts.

Working conditions for non-tenure-track faculty are learning conditions for students, and students deserve to know their instructors have the stability needed to do their best job. Faculty members on short contracts must turn their attention to searching and applying for jobs each spring, because they do not know whether they will have a job in the fall. This time and effort could otherwise be devoted to students. Further, if non-tenure-track faculty knew they had a future at the university, then they could commit to improving courses and advising students over a period of years. And to keep up with their disciplines, and develop the highest quality classroom materials, teaching faculty need professional support and development opportunities — these requests too are being resisted by the university. Our non-tenure-track colleagues are first-rate teachers and scholars, and they want to maintain that standard. The University of Illinois cannot profess to offer a top-tier education if it treats a large segment of its faculty as disposable.

A strike by these faculty members would be inconvenient for everyone, no doubt, but non-tenure-track faculty have run out of other ways to get their concerns taken seriously. These faculty members devote their careers to teaching undergraduates at the university, and will find it difficult to walk away from that commitment, even for a day. But at some point enough is enough, and they know they must stand up for their profession now, to insure a good education for future students at our university.

As tenure-track faculty, we whole-heartedly support our non-tenure-track colleagues. We urge the administration to give these faculty members fair treatment, and agree now to a fair contract.

Susan G. Davis, a professor emerita of communication, is a member of the Campus Faculty Association executive committee. Richard S. Laugesen, a mathematics professor, is vice president of the CFA.

Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Solidarity

The Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition #6546 has authorized a potential strike, and they are seeking support from tenure-track faculty.

NTFC asks tenure-track faculty to sign the following support letter. A PDF of the letter is available here (TTSupportLetter); a Word version is available here (TTSupportLetter-4).

You can return the signed letter to the Geneva Room of the McKinley Foundation (Fifth & Daniel, Champaign) or request pick-up by the Campus Faculty Association (campusfacultyassoc@gmail.com).

The letter reads as follows:

We, the undersigned members of the UIUC faculty, stand firmly in solidarity with the members of Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition #6546 and fully support their efforts to secure a fair and equitable contract. Our colleagues have been in bargaining since October of 2014, and the administration still refuses to address these systemic issues of higher education. They have denied rights of basic job security to members of our own faculty, and they have prioritized managerial flexibility over the best interest of our students.

Stability and high-quality teaching benefits the university as a whole, and the administration’s refusal to negotiate mutually beneficial items like multi-year contracts, does not reflect the value that we put on our students’ education and the work of faculty as a whole.

We have lost faith in the administration’s willingness to resolve these issues, and we hereby call on the leadership of the University of Illinois to engage directly and immediately in negotiations with NTFC #6546 to resolve these issues and sign a fair contract now.