Union Members Reject Fact Finder’s Report in Overwhelming Vote

For Immediate Release

 November 8, 2018

Media Contact:

Noeleen McIlvenna

Contract Administration Officer, AAUP-WSU (202) 258-0879

mcilvenna2016@gmail.com

 

In voting that ended at 5pm yesterday, members of AAUP-WSU voted overwhelmingly to reject the Fact Finder’s report: 467 voted to reject, 12 to accept. Over 97% of the voters rejected the report.

Our members found that the Fact Finder’s recommendations would erode the quality of education faculty provide our students, hurt the community Wright State University serves, and threaten the livelihood of our faculty — and they voted accordingly.

AAUP-WSU is ready to negotiate. It is now the responsibility of President Schrader and the Board of Trustees to sit down with us. AAUP-WSU has committed not to initiate a strike unless President Schrader and the Board try to impose a contract that would damage education at Wright State.

Marty Kich, President of AAUP-WSU, said, “Our membership is clearly united in their determination to protect education for present and future Wright State students. Our position has always been that solving WSU’s short term financial crisis should not inflict permanent damage on the University’s academic mission. In fact, WSU avoided fiscal watch without any of the extreme proposals President Schrader and the Board demanded. For months, they have only pretended to engage in bargaining. It is time to work together to ensure WSU’s future.”

The numbers:

  • 564 persons are in the Bargaining Unit represented by AAUP-WSU.
  • Of these, 493 were chapter members and eligible to
  • Among the eligible voters, 97.2% did indeed
  • Among those who voted, 97.5% voted to reject the Fact Finder’s report

2018-10-19 [JL-DK 37] +

AAUP-WSU members turned out in large numbers for the October 19 Board of Trustees meeting.

About AAUP-WSU

AAUP-WSU — the American Association of University Professors, Wright State University Chapter — is the union representing all full-time WSU faculty (excepting only administrators) with appointments in the university’s primary academic colleges on both the Dayton and Celina campuses. [These colleges are the Colleges of Engineering and Computer Science; Education and Human Services; Liberal Arts; Nursing and Health; Science and Mathematics; the Lake Campus; and the Raj Soin College of Business.]

Collective bargaining for WSU’s tenured and tenure-eligible faculty began in spring 1998 and was expanded to include non-tenure-eligible faculty in fall 2012, both via secret ballot votes overseen by Ohio’s State Employment Relations Board.

About AAUP

The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities.

 

Student Poster

Student Poster

The production and distribution of this poster has neither been initiated by nor sponsored by AAUP-WSU–though it is very clear who has inspired it.

It demonstrates that there are many ways in which we can inspire our students in very meaningful and substantive ways.

Even more importantly, it demonstrates that our students understand what the institutional priorities of a university ought to be. They understand that a university that makes non-academic initiatives and enterprises a higher priority than academic programs is failing to meet its fundamental mission.

The critics of the AAUP-WSU leadership have sometimes claimed that we are not concerned enough about our students, as if concerns about the degradation of faculty working conditions can be divorced from concerns about student learning conditions.

Over the past several weeks, someone has been tearing down AAUP-WSU posters in buildings across campus.

If the vandal–and if one calls these actions what they are, this vandalism is very clearly the antithesis of professional behavior–if the vandal starts tearing down these posters, I think that it is fair to question his or her support for students and to wonder whether that ostensible concern for students is simply an empty talking point that serves to mask agendas that have very little to do with any real concern for students.

Marty

 

 

Letter of Support from Fred Strahorn, Minority Leader, Ohio House

Letterhead from Fred Strahorn

October 19, 2018

 

Cheryl Schrader

President Wright State University

3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy 260 University Hall

Dayton, OH 45435

 

Dear President Schrader:

Wright State University is a pillar of achievement and innovation in Dayton and an integral part of Ohio’s public university system. The university has a strong academic, communal, and historical presence in the Dayton community, the State of Ohio, as well as across the country.

Due to this, we are all highly invested in and committed to the future well-being of the university and the students, alumni, and community members who benefit from and contribute to Wright State’s culture of excellence.

I recognize that the university has been put in a difficult financial position that, to overcome, will likely require sacrifices and difficult decisions. During these deliberations, I urge the university leadership to prioritize faculty who serve as the backbone of student achievement and university success. Professors are one of the first interactions students have with the university, through developing professional relationships and acting as a source of guidance for students both inside and outside the classroom long after they have graduated.

I have faith that the university and faculty will be able to agree to terms that are deemed acceptable to both parties to prevent any strikes that would have dire consequences for the 15,558 students who attend your university and the prospective students and faculty who are interested in becoming a part of the Raider community.

Please let me know if my office can be helpful in any way.

Sincerely,

Fred Strahorn

Minority Leader

39th House District

 

 

 

Stand with the People Who Have Stood with You

2018-10-19 [LF 42] +

RUSS JOSEPH – MONTGOMERY COUNTY CLERK OF COURTS

DAN FOLEY – MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONER

KARL KEITH – MONTGOMERY COUNTY AUDITOR

MATT JOSEPH – DAYTON CITY COMMISSIONER

JOHN McMANUS – VICE PRESIDENT DAYTON SCHOOL BOARD & HOUSE DISTRICT 41 CANDIDATE

2018-10-19 BoT--Ryan Taylor and Kim McCarthy

RYAN REBECCA TAYLOR – HOUSE DISTRICT 40 CANDIDATE

KIM MCCARTHY – HOUSE DISTRICT 73 CANDIDATE

[For more information on Ryan Taylor’s and Kim McCarthy’s candidacies, see the page on this site on our PACs:  https://aaup-wsu.org/political-action-committees/.]

VOTE!!!

CANVAS!!!

CONTRIBUTE!!!

 

 

Noeleen McIlvenna’s Remarks at the Board of Trustees Meeting, 19 October 2018

2018-10-19 BoT–Noeleen McIlvenna’s Remarks [PDF]

Video Link: https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=Crn7SUboOME.

2018-10-19 BoT--Noeleen McIlvenna

Trustees, President Schrader,

We have gathered today to reason with you to do what’s right for Wright State. Which is to remove the articles that undermine the academic mission off the negotiating table so that we can settle a fair contract quickly and allow us all to focus on building a better WSU.

There was never any need for this tension. This was YOUR choice, to break with a system that worked well, to hire an attorney to fight us, to attack the fundamentals within our working conditions and the students learning conditions. Faculty teaching students built the 130 million dollar reserve fund— Administration and Board were responsible for its destruction. Administration and Board then decided to take advantage of the crisis bad management created to attack the full-time faculty.

YOU can end this— today. And you should. Because you will not win a fight you pick with us.

Let’s consider where we stand. Mr. Fecher reminded us that y’all were smart. But we knew that. It was you who underestimated us. You have several smart guys, from the world of tech, right? We have a whole college full of smart tech men and women. (Let’s hear it for the faculty of Engineering and Computer Science! )

You have several smart businessmen. We have a whole college of Business, filled with very smart men and women, who know how to interpret 990s and audits. We could perhaps have a member from the Accountancy Department analyze the latest audit fiasco at WSARC. Some people really NEED watching, fiscally speaking. And that college also includes OUR Marketing Department.t (Let’s hear it for the faculty in the College of Business.)

You have a communication team. We have a whole Department of Communication, plus  great writers galore,  and artists, plus filmmakers, so excellent that they are endorsed by union member and most popular man in the world, Tom Hanks. (Let the Trustees hear it for Arts and Humanities at Wright State).

We have 560 experts in every field of human endeavor. And we have their partners— hundreds of men and women working in Raider Country—on our campus, in local  hospitals and schools and businesses, Delivering our message outward.

We have 14,000 students. in our classrooms. They come and they pay to be taught by us. They have relationships with us, because we work with them each day, helping and encouraging them. Faculty have always had a Growth Mindset, President, we want our students to grow their minds, not to be molded as if they were lumps of clay for Mr. Langos’s business interests. (Let them hear how we will fight for our students.)

We have allies. Let me introduce you to a few of them:

  1. Tom Ritchie, President of the Dayton and Miami Valley AFL-CIO. We are affiliate members.
  2. Paul Davis, National leader, AAUP-CBC
  3. We have our retirees, whose expertise is also available to us, represented today by Dr Larry Prochaska, from the College of Science and Boonshoft School of Medicine.
  4. Derek Pridemore, one of tens of thousands of alumni. They recall how faculty made the difference in their lives.
  5. You have heard from Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, and Senator Sherrod Brown. We also have other elected officials plus local candidates, Kim McCarthy and Ryan Taylor in the House.

(Let’s hear it for our allies)

This community of people—faculty, spouses, retirees, students, alumni, politicians, union brethren—join us in our Fight for Wright. You will not win this fight. So stop it. Do not inflict any additional damage to this University. Get the power-grabbing articles off the table. It’s okay to admit you don’t know anything about higher education, and to back off. One thing faculty learn from their years on the job is  that to be good at one thing, like colonial American History, does not mean you’re good at everything. The person in the office next door is an expert on something we know little about, let alone someone in a different college. We recognize the limits on our expertise. So you know a lot about running a credit union. But you have demonstrated how little you know about running a University, and that’s okay. That’s why shared governance exists.

On one thing, let us all be transparent. It is the current administration and Board who were and are the cause of our problems—including current Trustee Mr. Bridges, who was Chair of the Board through the overspending catastrophe. Mr. Bridges decided to make David Hopkins one of the top ten best paid public university presidents in the U.S.  Mr. Bridges, as the Ohio Ethics Commission pointed out, was paying close enough attention to ensure there was a lucrative job for his son at WSRI, in the years it was being bailed out by millions of student tuition dollars. Mr. Fecher served as Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee.

And it was the current admin who decided to put tenure and workload on the table, so that they can lay-off even more faculty to make fewer and bigger classes for students. These decisions didn’t happen on Hopkins’ watch. These decisions belong to President Cheryl Schrader.

So we urge you all to talk today to each other about what you intend to do, while we talk to the gathered press. Surely the Double Boondoggle story is enough; please for the sake of this community, do not embarrass us—nor the governor who appointed you—any further. More bad press about mismanagement is really not what we want. Don’t continue this uncivil war for a day longer than it needs.

Because—We have United to fight for Wright—

And we will win.

Thank you

 

I added—LET THE RECORD SHOW THAT MR. FECHER TRIED TO SILENCE DR. NO AND THAT NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED.

 

 

Sirisha Naidu’s Remarks at the board of Trustees Meeting, 19 October 2018

2018-10-19 BoT–Sirisha Naidu’s Remarks [PDF]

Video Link: https://youtu.be/TPbTr_JIOEU.

2018-10-19 BoT--Sirisha Naidu

Good Morning,

I am Sirisha Naidu, Faculty in the Department of Economics, College of Business.

I would have addressed you as Respected Members of the Board and President Schrader. However, respect has to be earned. And you, as decision-makers, have not earned my respect.

We Faculty, as members of the Wright State community, are here yet again, to express grave concerns about your decisions. We have been attending every BoT meeting since the disclosure of financial mismanagement by the University’s central administration under the oversight of the Board of Trustees, some of whom continue in the current Board.

The University’s Central Administration has accused the faculty of creating hysteria on campus. Let me highlight some of what has occurred in the past couple of years.

  1. Under the “able” leadership of the BoT and Central Admin we lost over $100 million in reserves. “Lost” is a funny word, isn’t it? It seems to suggest that it was an accident.
  2. Despite this loss, in 2017, the BoT sanctioned that President Hopkins be paid $200,000 plus deferred compensation and other benefits.

But the current administration and Board are not blameless either.

  1. It hired a private law firm, Baker Hostetler, to negotiate with the faculty union – AAUP. As of July 2018, the law firm has charged a quarter million dollars for failed negotiations even as academic departments are being forced to count pennies. Every previous contract had been successfully negotiated by the University administration and AAUP with no extra cost to the administration.
  2. The current Board and Central administration has continued to subsidize Double Bowler, an affiliated real estate entity, which allows them to engage in spending university funds without adequate oversight. 80% of Double Bowler’s revenue, however is derived from Wright State. WSU also shell out $250,000 for its CEO’s salary. Double Bowler purchased a property from WPCU with WSU funds 4 months after the CEO of WPCU joined our board. We are currently in that building.
  3. This compounded by bad press on reports of financial mismanagement, the Presidential debate debacle, ethically suspect dealings with lobbyists. And more recently the mismanagement of the release of your attorney’s brief to the fact-finder, which prompted the media to report that WSU wouldn’t recover financially for another 20 years. And NO, one NCAA game is not a silver bullet for enrollment, as current numbers suggest.

Bad decisions, however, are not restricted to personnel, management, media and financial matters either. The Board now appears to be engaged in direct attempts to undermine the academic mission of the university.

On an August 17th meeting, various board members dismissed the importance of humanities and the arts to this university. One Board Member even promoted associates degrees. Board Members, please note: WSU is a 4-year degree granting public university not a community college. It does a fine job of serving Raider Country and beyond.

As the current leadership not only have you, the Board Members and central Administration, failed to increase enrollments and control high costs of a top heavy administration, but you have jeopardized the ability of this university to recruit and retain the very best professors in the country by attempting to negotiate on tenure.

Your extreme proposals on tenure, healthcare and job security are among the worst in the state and the country. It will prevent us from retaining and hiring good faculty for a very long time. We have already lost 90 faculty since Spring 2016. This undermines the academic mission of the university.

Not having sufficient faculty to teach classes and programs, not having sufficient department and college staff to keep programs running, and not having sufficient custodial staff and ground workers to maintain safety and cleanliness undermines the ability of students to graduate and faculty to do their jobs.

Last Spring President Schrader used the analogy of pruning a garden to justify the cuts that she had made to staff. While the previous Board may have let the garden overgrow, or to use a phrase Mr. Fecher used last semester, it fell asleep at the wheel, I urge you not to overcompensate. Too much pruning severely distresses the tree beyond recovery.

You have at various times suggested that everyone except faculty have rolled up their sleeves.

But staff did not voluntarily agree to reduce their severance or to relinquish bumping rights when they have been subjected to “culling.” Nor did they agree to the inequitable health care costs. You have simply imposed the worst health care plan at all public universities in Ohio despite our having very comparable health care costs. But it is not bad for everyone. Under this plan, highly paid administrators even those making $250,000 and greater are paying the same premiums as those making $75,000. Now you want to impose this inequitable policy on faculty.

You and your predecessors, who are responsible for our current situation, have characterized our legal right to bargain over our working conditions as if it is somehow selfish and unfair. Yet every concession thus far has been made by our union. On a number of the unresolved articles, your proposals reflect your desire to dictate to us, rather than to bargain in good faith. You rebuffed the faculty union’s recent attempts to offer substantial concessions to break the impasse.

Board Members, President Schrader, I hope you realize that Wright State works because We, the Faculty and Staff, work. And you can be assured that we will roll up our sleeves to preserve tenure, the right to bargain, the academic mission, and the long-term viability of this university.

Because We are Fighting for Wright!