Friday, July 20, 2012

Who benefits???

So I took a moment to consider a question that has been rolling around in my head for a while. I am aware of the confusion, disorganization and dysfunction that permeates the university and has done for the better part of three years. Mind you loyal readers, your humble narrator would never suggest that the university wasn’t broken when the current regime was installed. Clearly it was. What I would suggest is that there are other more critical parts that are broken now as a result of the current regime.I asked myself, who benefits from the current situation. It is a quintessential question in my discipline ( Political Science) and as this is a state university, historically tainted by politics, the question is as relevant now as it ever has been. Who benefits from a university that appears at times, leaderless, directionless, and in aviation terms, in a flat spin headed toward impacting the ground. Who could possibly benefit by what at times could be characterized as not knowing and at other times sheer ineptness? Surely it isn’t the students whose temporal, economic and emotional sacrifice is well known to faculty. It couldn’t possibly be the long suffering faculty, who continue to experience nothing but contempt for what they do. And certainly the university doesn’t benefit from 75 audit findings in the past two years. The university’s most recent chief executive amassed 107 audit findings in ten years. The university's hard working and often unappreciated staff doesn’t benefit by working in a climate of fear, threats of termination and rampant disrespect. The Board of Trustees doesn’t benefit by having to explain the continued failures, previously documented here, of the university. So if the students, the faculty, the Board of Trustees and the university staff don’t benefit by the confusion of workers not being paid, the Information Technology Division being headless, the web entry time keeping system being rolled out prematurely, student enrollment being flat or down, and faculty hiring being delayed and then rushed, then who does benefit?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Faculty: Don't Validate the Administration's Contract Violations. Don't Participate in their continued attempt to impose a DAC on you.

Next week the Deans and Chairs are once again being dragooned into another "in-service" day resuming their efforts to construct faculty DACS. This time they are inviting faculty from the various department personnel committees and DAC Committees. This again? This in spite of the fact that both the Faculty Senate and UPI membership had protested vociferously against the imposition of Administratively-driven DACs? This in spite of President Watson's memo allowing for the continued use of the old DACs into the next academic year?

Who is not getting the message? DACs are the purview of the faculty, not the administration, no matter what technicality the Admin tries to claim. The UPI has filed a grievance, don't validate the Administrative usurpation of a faculty process by attending this in-service. Stand up for faculty's right to set their own DACs, don't fall for the $200+ extra pay they claim they will give faculty who attend.

UPI Grievance Officer, Dr. Steven Rowe, who was approached to attend had this to say:

I would decline to participate in such a meeting and would suggest that all others do the same.  UPI filed a grievance on the DAC process on behalf of all Unit A faculty membership. This meeting, like all other such meetings that have happened since the faculty DAC committees submitted their DACs back in May is in direct violation of the CSU-UPI Contract. In UPI's grievance on the DAC process, we have demanded the following remedy:

Because the DACs created by CSU administrators in the June 7-8 workshops are the result of numerous violations of the CSU-UPI Contract, they must be disposed of and not used in any way. Furthermore, the President must comply with the CSU-UPI Contract and produce a written statement in response to each and every DAC that was submitted by departments across the University in May 2012. That written statement must be sent to all department chairs and department faculty and must follow the provisions of the Contract as discussed in this grievance. The result of all of these written statements must not constitute an unreasonable withholding of approval of the any or all of the submitted DACs from May 2012. A blanket rejection of all Departmental Applications of Criteria is unacceptable and a violation of the Contract.

I would encourage all faculty and department chairs to refuse to participate in this illegitimate process that further violates the CSU-UPI contract. Instead, I would encourage all faculty and department chairs to await the outcome of the grievance, which should be resolved along the lines of the remedy we have proposed.

It would be nice to see the Deans refuse to participate too.

Friday, July 6, 2012

What next? ...Don't Ask.

Just when you think you can breathe again--Prez' letter saying the old DACs will be in place for another year, UPI has grievances filed against the university for contract violations regarding the DAC issue of last month, up comes something else.

Dr Watson alluded to this at the Board of Trustees meeting last month, that some class managment needed to be done--meaning a pre-emptive strike: cut classes for the Fall before August. Say that again? In anticipation of low enrollment this fall, cut classes NOW that have fewer than 10 students enrolled in them. Rationale? Couldn't tell you--save money? The implication of this great for departments, programs, students and faculty. We may offer courses that don't get enrolled, but if we do not offer them at all now, they most certainly will not be enrolled.

No knowledge of when we hear about the final decision on this one--surprise, surprise.

In the meantime, the University is looking for reps to be on its West-side campus organizing team. Say that again? CSU and the politicians who brought you CSU are moving forward on creating a westside campus. Excelsior! "Ever Upward!" Maybe that's where all the displaced southside faculty and students will have to go.