FA News (11/21/2017): Meeting updates

Dear colleagues,

I don’t want to load you down with a lengthy message right before Thanksgiving, but did want to bring you up to speed on recent and upcoming developments.

This morning leaders of the FA held a “communications committee” meeting with Chancellor Montemagno and Vice-Provost DiLalla. The FA contract calls for such meetings to be held once a semester, at the request of either party; we requested this meeting.

The meeting was professional and collegial. There was even considerable agreement about some basic points. We agree that we must address our steep decline in enrollment. And we agree that current methods of allocating resources too often stand in the way of interdisciplinary collaboration. I also hope that both sides understand each other’s positions a bit more clearly than they did before the meeting.

That said, fundamental areas of disagreement remain. I’ll just highlight some of them here—most have been subject to comment in prior FA newsletters and elsewhere on campus, and they will continue to be part of the campus discussion. (For one particularly impressive part of that wider conversation, see the response from the Graduate and Professional Student Council.)

  • We have yet to see evidence that the planned restructuring will address the enrollment crisis.
  • We have yet to see evidence that the planned restructuring will improve the way SIU allocates resources.
  • We are not convinced that the need for quick action justifies abandonment of shared governance regarding the central element of the plan: replacement of all departments by schools.

We would remind faculty again of their rights under the contract. These include faculty’s right to revise the chancellor’s proposals and to produce counterproposals of their own. Faculty also have the right to extend the period of deliberations on proposals by 30 days, if 60% of the faculty in each unit affected by a given school proposal vote to do so. We are vigorously monitoring the restructuring process and investigating our full range of options under the contract and Illinois labor law.

The FA is forming a program change task force to help faculty navigate the Article 9 process. Faculty interested in helping out with this are warmly encouraged to contact Rachel Stocking, who is coordinating this effort, at: stocking.rachel@gmail.com.

Finally, the union’s DRC (Departmental Representatives Council) will meet on Thursday 11/30 at 5:00 pm in Parkinson 202. This meeting will play a vital role in shaping the FA’s response to the restructuring process. All FA members are welcome to attend.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Dave Johnson

President, SIUC-FA


About Dave Johnson
I'm an Associate Professor in Classics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Among other things.

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