Letter from the University of Rhode Island AAUP Chapter to President Schrader

aaup-uri

January 24, 2019

Cheryl Schrader, President

Wright State University

3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy.

Dayton, OH 45435

 

Dear Dr. Schrader,

The University of Rhode Island Chapter of the American Association of University Professors condemns the unilateral imposition of a contract on the faculty represented by AAUP-WSU. We believe the ongoing faculty strike is justified and we stand in solidarity with AAUP-WSU. We urge you and the Board of Trustees to bargain in good faith, use fair and reliable information, and reach a collective bargaining agreement that respects the faculty at Wright State.

Attempting to shift responsibility for financial mismanagement from the administration onto the shoulders of faculty is irresponsible and shortsighted. Claiming low institutional financial ratios is deceitful. It is clear that some of the financial mismanagement predates your appointment. It is incumbent on you, as the President, to exert leadership. Press the Board to be honest about the squandering of reserves, the abuse of foreign-born workers, and misguided investments in off­ campus properties. The Wright State financial crisis is not a result of faculty salary and benefits, nor should the faculty bear the burden of remedying the problem.

We strongly urge the Wright State University administration to refrain from draconian impositions, negotiate in good faith, and reach a fair deal with AAUP-WSU.

On behalf of the URl /AAUP Executive Committee,

Jay Walsh, Ph.D.

Executive Director

 

Letter from Sociologists for Women in Society to President Schrader

sociologists for women in society

January 25, 2019

President Cheryl Schrader and Members of the Board of Trustees of Wright State University:

Dear Colleagues at Wright State University,

We write in support of our faculty colleagues at Wright State University on behalf of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), an international organization of over 600 sociologists and publisher of the highly respected academic journal Gender & Society.  We are contacting you regarding the contract negotiations impasse that led faculty to go on strike.  We wish to express our sincere hope that the University will work to achieve a fair and expeditious resolution to this troubling situation.

SWS was formed in 1971 to promote activism, scholarship, and education that improves the lives of women in all walks of life. We have been especially active in supporting the professional and academic careers of women and of gender scholarship in colleges and universities.  Current scholarship in the social sciences and education consistently shows that women and members of minority groups face unique challenges to their professional success in academia.  We also know that unions work hard to decrease inequalities among faculty. The Board of Trustees’ decision might impact women and people of color disproportionately for economic reasons such as fewer assets and safety net savings.

We strongly support human rights, democracy, and scientific research, and we believe that colleges and universities should assume prominent roles in civil political discourses and policy decisions that are vital to the welfare of the nation—especially when it comes to promoting social justice.  On a daily basis, however, faculty educate and enrich the lives of students. Faculty and students are certainly the heart of every university.

For these reasons, we hope that this contract negotiation impasse is resolved promptly and amicably, in a way that demonstrates the crucial role faculty play in fulfilling the University’s mission and guaranteeing academic excellence. Furthermore, we urge Wright State University to work with faculty to clarify any misunderstandings or prejudgments that recent events may have caused and to guarantee a fair and respectful work environment for the future.

Sincerely,

SWS President, Adia Harvey Wingfield, Ph.D.

SWS President, Tiffany Taylor, Ph.D.

SWS Past President, Abby Ferber, Ph.D.

Statement of Solidarity from Ohio University’s AAUP Chapter

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The Ohio University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) stands in solidarity with the faculty of Wright State University (WSU), who are striking to demand a fair contract. 

​We express alarm at the WSU administration’s decision unilaterally to impose a contract on full-time teaching faculty represented by AAUP-WSU.

The financial data that are publicly accessible indicate that WSU’s budget problems are self-inflicted. The problems stem primarily from the failure of the Board of Trustees to manage resources, competently. Compensation and benefits of the full-time teaching faculty comprise just 17 percent of the university’s budget. Expenditures on faculty hiring are not the source of WSU’s budget problems, and faculty should not be made to bear the brunt of fixing them.

The WSU faculty have nevertheless indicated a readiness to bear some of the burden of solving the budget disaster that the Board of Trustees and the administration have produced. They are offering a range of financial concessions.

The WSU administration has disregarded this offer to meet halfway and instead has forced a punitive contract on the faculty. The rationale provided is the very crisis that the administration and the Board of Trustees have created.

We urge the WSU administration to retract this decision to impose a contract and instead return to good-faith negotiations with the WSU faculty to achieve a just resolution.

We urge our OU-AAUP chapter members to post individual expressions of support to their WSU colleagues at the following links:


Loren D. Lybarger
President, OU-AAUP

 

Letter of Support from Temple Association of University Professionals

temple u assoc of univ professionals

24 January 2019

 

Rudy Fichtenbaum, President

American Association of University Professors

1133 Nineteenth St., NW, Suite 200

Washington, DC 20036

 

Dear President Fichtenbaum,

On behalf of TAUP (AFT Local 4531), I write to express the solidarity of our 3000-plus faculty members, librarians, and academic professionals in your struggle for a just contract.

As your members bravely stand on the picket lines, we know that you are fighting for a vision of education that truly serves your students and the values of that must be at the heart of the university—among them, academic freedom, just compensation of both full-time and part-time faculty, and satisfactory working conditions. As you have seen the number of full-time faculty drop as administrative bloat and frivolous spending continue to creep upward, you have rightly said, “Enough!”

While you—the people who teach the classes and generate the research and creative work—have been bargaining in good faith, Wright State administration has not, instead shamefully trying to impose an unfair contract upon you.

Know that we at TAUP and, as is clear from the other letters of support you’ve received, your Union siblings from across the country see what is really going on here, and we stand with you in this fight!

Sincerely,

Steve Newman, Ph.D.

President, TAUP

 

cc: Martin Kich, President, Wright State University AAUP

Alyssa Picard, AFT Higher Ed

 

Letter of Support from the Long Island University Faculty Federation

liuff

Dear Martin,

I write with solidarity greetings from the Long Island University Faculty Federation, NYSUT/AFT. We are following your strike under arduous conditions. A statement approved by our Executive Committee is pasted below.

In solidarity,

Emily Drabinski

President, Long Island University Faculty Federation

 

Dear Colleagues,

The Long Island University Faculty Federation sends our support and solidarity to the striking members of the AAUP faculty union at Wright State University. We understand too well the challenge of working with a management that seeks to resolve administratively-produced crises on the backs of faculty and students. We have also watched our administration attempt to replace us in our classrooms with attendance takers. We too have stood on picket lines, signed petitions, and attended rallies as we fight for the heart of the university–students and the teachers who share their classrooms. We stand in solidarity with you in your fight for a fair contract.

In solidarity,

The Officers and Executive Committee of the LIUFF

 

Open Letter to the Wright State University Board of Trustees from Pamela A. Schulze, President, U of Akron AAUP Chapter

This open letter was published on the national AAUP’s Academe Blog [https://academeblog.org/].

aaup-akron 2

I am writing this letter as President of the University of Akron Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, which represents 586 full-time faculty. I have been following the contract negotiations and current impasse that has resulted in a faculty strike. To my dismay, I have observed that the WSU administration has resorted to using its students as pawns: putting their education at risk, and frightening them with threats of withdrawal of financial aid, all in order to avoid bargaining with faculty in good faith.

Let me be clear: the faculty at any university is not a problem to be managed. The current strike at your institution is not merely the undesired outcome of a typical labor-management dispute. The faculty are quite simply the backbone of any university, and they are the key to student success. When faculty fight for better working conditions, they are fighting for better learning conditions for their students. Your openly hostile attitude toward the WSU faculty reveals your dismissive view of students, evinced when subs, adjuncts, and administrators are hastily thrown into classrooms, or classes are cancelled altogether, all destroying the good faith needed as a basis for shared governance.

Shared governance–an anathema to many a dysfunctional university administration– is necessary for any university to function effectively. The pattern of wasteful spending on the part of the administration presents an all too common case of chronic mismanagement without real consequence for managers. Instead, the Board of Trustees seeks to punish the faculty for the administration’s misdeeds. In the end, it will be the students and the community at large who will suffer because of the Board’s dereliction of its fiduciary responsibility to the institution.

It’s not too late to return to the bargaining table. The students, faculty, and the community at large are waiting.

Yours sincerely,

Pamela A. Schulze
President, Akron-AAUP

 

Media contact: Julie Cajigas, Vice President, Akron-AAUP| julie.cajigas@akronaaup.org

 

DATV and Citizen Impact’s Extensive Coverage of the Strike

We are very grateful to DATV and Citizen Impact for providing  extensive coverage of the strike.

We are very grateful to Logan Martinez and Tim Bruce, in particular, for documenting these events with tremendous patience, for giving us the opportunity to express our concerns in more than soundbites, and for personalizing those concerns in a consistently respectful way, even when emotions related to the strike have been very close to the surface.

We encourage you not just to click on these video links but also to visit DATV’s website at: http://www.datv.org/.

 

Two earlier videos related to the background of the strike: