Strike Watch #2

411 days without a contract

A “strike watch” means conditions exist which could lead to a strike by the Faculty Association and our sister unions, the Association of Civil Service Employees, the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Association, and Graduate Assistants United. The administration can solve this crisis today with a fair settlement of our contracts. Make your voice heard by joining the FA!

It’s a matter of priorities

In case you missed it last week, here is a link to SIUC faculty member Dave Johnson’s “Morning Conversation” with Jennifer Fuller on August 9: WSIU Morning Conversation with SIUC Faculty Association .

Dave points out that despite all of the problems with the national economy and state budget, the state audits show that SIU is in good fiscal health. The problem is not having enough money to spend, but how SIU spends that money. It is about priorities and protecting the quality of education.

Many crucial interests remain to be addressed at the bargaining table, including the integrity of the tenure system, protection from indiscriminate layoffs, and fairness in workload assignments. Here we focus on recent trends in spending at SIUC. These facts speak to the need for faculty to have a say in setting university priorities in order to meet our fundamental interests: the quality of education and the strength of the academic mission.

Here are a few facts for your consideration:

  • In FY 2010, SIUC revenues exceeded expenditures by $15.8 million. ( SIU FY 2010 Year End Financial Performance Report)
  • FY 2011 revenue estimates are several million dollars above FY 2010 expenditure levels. (SIU Financial Performance Reports)
  • Chancellor Cheng directed academic units to cut FY 2011 expenditures from FY 2010 levels by an average of 4%.
  • A decrease in the number of tenured and tenure track faculty members resulted in $1.8 million reduction in spending on faculty salaries from Academic Year 2009-10 to Academic Year 2010-11. Imposed furlough days resulted in a further faculty salary reduction of about $1 million. (bargaining unit reports from the Office of the Associate Provost for Academic Administration)
  • From 2000 to 2009, the number of full time faculty increased by a little less than 5%. The number of employees classified as “Executive/Administrative/Managerial” or “Professional Non-Faculty” increased by 27%. (SIUC Institutional Research & Studies)
  • The number of faculty in the tenured and tenure track faculty bargaining unit has decreased from 713 in September 2009 to 687 in September 2010. As of June 30, 2011, the number of faculty in the bargaining unit was already down to 661, a 7.3% reduction from Fall 2009 levels. (bargaining unit reports from the Office of the Associate Provost for Academic Administration)
  • SIUC’s peer institutions spend, on average, 17.5% of their budgets on administration and support. SIUC spends 29%. (2008 IPEDS data set)
  • SIUC doubled its subsidy of athletics in five years to over $14 million in the 2009-10 year. These subsidies amount to more than 60% of operating revenues and come from direct and indirect institution support and student fees. These amounts do not include $76 million spent on Saluki Way construction. (USA Today)
  • A new marketing and rebranding initiative has cost SIUC $1.5 million. (Southern Illinoisan, August 14, 2011)

As overall budgets increase, cuts in spending on academics mean that resources are being shifted toward other administrative priorities. It is time for the faculty to exercise our right and our responsibility to defend the academic mission at SIUC. A fair contract that protects academic values at SIUC is essential to maintaining the integrity of our university.

For more information

From the SIUC Faculty Association:
Finances and the Future of SIUC

Budgetary “Myths and Assumptions”

Budget Information (February 14, 2011)

From USA Today:
Athletics Subsidies at Division I Schools (table)

What NCAA schools spend on athletics (database)

SIU Data:
Vice President for Financial & Administrative Affairs (with links to financial reports)

Information Quest (SIUC Institutional Research & Studies)


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