Time Sensitive Items and Voting

FA Newsletter 9-28-20

Three time-sensitive items have arisen. The FA needs your thoughts. If you have concerns related to the first two items, please respond a.s.a.p.

  1. Many of you have received instructions concerning the modalities of classes for Spring 2021 (filtered down from the Provost to Deans to Chairs). Communication has been inconsistent at best. Some Faculty have received the entire unedited directive from the Provost. Some have received requests from their chairs simply asking for a description of what their classes will look like in their given modalities. Some have received what appear to be directives asking for “justifications” or “class plans” and/or a quick response. Some have (as of Friday) have received nothing. Please reach out to the Faculty Association if you are confused or, more importantly, if you feel the request you received may infringe on your academic freedom.
  2. The provost is soliciting “in-put” re: an “opt-in” on the part of students for PASS/FAIL again this semester. We need your in-put by Oct.2.

A number of issues arose from this practice when it was implemented last spring, among them:

  • Some students exercising the pass/fail option failed to get a letter grade on their record that they might have needed in the future.
  • The pass/fail option set up students to fail to meet the achievement thresholds they needed to satisfy degree and prerequisite requirements.
  • Programs were pressured to accept pass grades that did not meet degree or certification requirements.
  • The pass/fail policy eliminated minimum grade requirements that should have been applied for a course to serve as a prerequisite in the future. 

Please reach out to your DRC member and/or to me or another member of the FA leadership with your concerns (afletcher849@gmail.com)

It’s time to vote on the new contract!

  • You will soon receive a copy of the new contract (with changes indicated), a list of “talking points” that outline significant changes, and instructions for “drive-thru” voting on ratification. Voting will take place on October 5 (time and place forthcoming). ONLY FA MEMBERS CAN VOTE! Now would be a good time to join the union if you are not already a member! New member form will be available at voting. The FA website can be accessed (siucfa.org), although it remains “a work in progress.” Thanks for all you do!

In solidarity,

Anne Fletcher

President, SIU Faculty Association