Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Association leadership is concerned about reports from many Faculty that the SIUC administration is demanding that some colleges and departments cut their budgets according to an inequitable distribution plan.  Apparently, the metric for the cuts is based on decreases in credit hour production and student enrollment measured against last year—those colleges and departments that had the greatest one-year decreases bear the greatest weight of the cuts.  This means that some colleges are required to pay most of the bill for this year’s enrollment decrease, as well as for promotional raises, and a Board approved 1% salary increase, while some colleges are apparently allotted “negative cuts.” CASA alone is allotted 47% of the entire cut, and other colleges, including COEHS, MCMA, and COLA, are also required to take on cuts, leaving faculty and staff wondering where the cuts are going to come from.  These inequitable cuts come on top of two years of centralized decision-making and an even lengthier hiring “freeze,” which have not slowed the continuing, often ill-conceived, schemes for further budget reductions that threaten SIUC’s research mission, and have already left all our units understaffed and overworked.

We question both the financial basis for these cuts, and the methods by which they are being distributed and implemented. Claims that unexpected “shortfalls” require units to reduce budgets are not supported by audits, or by a careful examination of financial information released by the administration. For instance, take this report of fiscal health issued this year by Bain and Company and published in the DE:

Open discussion of budgetary matters is essential for making responsible decisions that do the least amount of harm possible.  However, centrally conceived, convoluted, and coercively imposed budget cutting metrics that pit faculty, departments, and colleges against each other do not constitute shared governance. 

Options proposed for cuts include accepting “voluntary” teaching overloads (often without pay), increasing course sizes, cancelling courses, relinquishing released time, and eliminating “redundancies.”  Such measures threaten some departments’ accreditation, or even their existence. Under these circumstances, it is imperative that Faculty be aware of our rights and the protections provided by our current collective bargaining agreement:

  1. Article 8: Protections against involuntary overloads.
  2. Article 9: Assurance of Faculty input in program change initiatives.
  3. Article 6: A clearly defined grievance procedure.
  4. Article 19: Safeguards against unjustified layoffs of Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty.

The FA leadership also urges you to remember:

  • Rather than automatically accepting the responsibility for making harmful budget reductions, ask questions: Are these cuts necessary? Are the metrics fair and accurately calculated?  Where is the money from increased tuition rates going? What is the actual total amount that the central administration has gained by sweeping indirect cost recovery funds from colleges and departments, leaving faculty lines vacant, and other budget reductions in units? What is the actual change in income over the past year?
  • You are not required to accept overloads; accepting overload teaching “voluntarily” may not only threaten the livelihood of Non Tenure-track faculty, but also makes it all the more likely that the squeeze on Faculty lines will continue.


CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT:  It is our legal responsibility to represent all Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty in enforcing our Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Our Grievance Committee is working hard to do this through individual and collective grievances and information requests.  But we need to hear from Faculty in order to do this job effectively.  Please keep in contact with your Faculty Association Department Representative, your Faculty Association College Representative, the Faculty Association Executive Committee, and our Grievance Committee> (see below for names and contact info).

COLLEGE MEETINGS: The Faculty Association Assembly and Executive Committee have begun holding College meetings to gather and disseminate information and, most importantly, to maintain open communication among Faculty across departments in order to build a cohesive and powerful voice in budget matters, program and curricular changes, grant application policies, and other administrative initiatives.  Thus far, we have held two meetings in COEHS, and one in CASA.  These meetings have been essential for understanding how administrative actions affect individual Faculty, single departments, and the entire college, and for developing strategies for both individual and collective responses.   Concerned Faculty in both colleges have begun working together to meet the challenges to their programs.  We hope to hold future meetings in other colleges.  If you want to help in this effort, please contact us.

BARGAINING UNIT MEETING (ALL Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty), Wednesday, November 28, 5 p.m.:  Working from the same principles as the college meetings, the Faculty Association leadership is calling a meeting for all tenured and tenure-track SIUC Faculty.  It is time for all of us to share our information and experiences, and to discuss how to meet the challenges presented by centralized decision-making, inadequate explanations, inequitable budget schemes, and hollow mechanisms of “shared” governance. 


Executive Committee:

Rachel Stocking, President,

George Boulukos, Vice-President,

Daren Callahan, Treasurer,

Jyotsna Kapur, Secretary,

Ryan Netzley, DRC Chair,

Grievance Committee contact person:
Randy Hughes,

College Reps:
Robert Spahr, MCMA
Natasha Zaretsky, COLA
Dona Reese, COEHS
Sandy Collins, CASA
Vijay Puri, Engineering
David Lightfoot, Agriculture
Cassie Wagner, Library Affairs
Aldo Migone, Science

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