FA News (5/29/2020): Transparency and Honesty

Dear colleagues,
This morning at the Board of Trustees meeting I raised some difficult questions, on behalf of the FA, about the appointment of SIUC’s new chancellor, Dr. Austin Lane. Our full statement is available on our website. These questions concern core issues about the honesty and transparency of the SIU administration, qualities which will be of the highest importance as we face the COVID-19 pandemic and the other issues before us.
I noted that the Houston Chronicle ran a story this morning about major irregularities in admissions and scholarships at Texas Southern University under Dr. Lane’s leadership. I also asked about the false statement in SIU’s press release about Dr. Lane, the claim that enrollment at TSU went up by 28% under his leadership. In fact, TSU enrollment from 2016-2019 went up by only 172 students, from 8,862 to 9,034, as one can confirm from the TSU website. That is an increase of 1.9%.

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Statement to BOT 29 May 2020

Here is the full statement made by SIUC-FA President Dave Johnson to the Board of Trustees on May 29, 2020.

BOT statement 29 May 2020

 

FA News (4/15): Evals; chancellor candidates

Dear colleagues,


I hope all of you are doing well during this difficult time. I have two matters of some important to share with you. 

Student evaluations

As part of consultations with the administration, the FA has recommended that faculty (and GA’s) should be able to opt-in to doing student evaluations this semester. The GAU and NTT-FA have provided similar recommendations. Unless instructors opt in, no evaluations should be administered in any given class. Instructors may choose to do evaluations, either limited to their own purposes or for use in the promotion and tenure process, should they wish. They should be able to decide what use to make of evaluations after seeing those evaluations; there is a basic parallelism here with the Pass/Fail grading option for students. But instructors should not be required to do evaluations in the special circumstances we currently face. 

It is our understanding that the administration will probably not require that student evaluations be used to evaluate faculty; but it is difficult to ensure that evaluations, once done, will not be used for such purposes, and so we have advised that evaluations not be required at all

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COVID 3/20 (second email)

Here’s the second email sent to faculty on 3/20.

Dear colleagues,
Apologies for multiple messages this afternoon/evening. 
See below for an important message that is making its way down the hierarchy this evening. Faculty (and presumably GA’s with instructional roles) will continue to be allowed access to private offices for work deemed essential. Given the normal rate of communication from deans and chairs, it’s possible this message may not make it to all instructors in a timely basis, so I thought I’d send it out promptly. I’ve also been able to clarify one thing with Dave DiLalla this evening.
The policy of allowing faculty continued office access will come as a relief to many colleagues, but also raises issues we are all only starting to think through. Coming to campus will impose some risk, despite everything being done to keep campus safe. We have clarified with the administration this evening that faculty (and presumably GA’s) are not required to come to campus. 

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COVID news from 3/20 (first post)

Two separate newsletters/announcements came out on Friday, 3/20. Here’s the first.

Dear colleagues,
Please carefully read the new update from the Chancellor regarding the latest developments on campus, particularly in response to the state’s “stay at home” order. Such campus messages can be found here: 
https://shc.siu.edu/coronavirus/campus-messages.php
Locally, there is some good news. I am happy to say that communication and consultation between the administration, unions, and constituency heads has been strong, particularly over the last couple of days. Some of our recommendations have yet to be implemented, and more questions will arise in the days to come, some of which will probably prove controversial, given the range of issues facing us. But so far we are doing a pretty good job of facing the crisis together. 

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FA News: COVID #2

A new set of recommendations is available here:

FA COVID Recommendations #2

FA News (Mar 10, 2020)

Here is the latest addition of the FA news–an update on the COVID-19 crisis.

FA News 11 March 2020

I am also doing email list maintenance. If you want to receive FA newsletters and announcements, drop me a line at dmj2@me.com.

 

FA News from 12/6/2019

This edition includes an announcement about an election, quick report on bargaining, then longer commentary on some recent events.

1. Election. It’s time for FA members to elect someone to serve as a delegate to the IEA Regional Assembly, the body that sets IEA policies (including dues). Our colleague Jacob Haubenreich has agreed to put his name forward, and we need to hold an election to ensure we are represented at the Assembly. To vote, stop by my office in Faner (2037) any time between 9:30 and 1:30 on Monday. If you are an FA member and will be on campus on Monday, please consider coming by to vote.

MONDAY 9:30-1:30 IN FANER 2037 
(Second floor, near south end of the building, west hallway) This would also be a fine time for anyone to stop by to discuss any FA business they would like to with me.

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New System President Named

Daniel F. Mahony, president of Winthrop University in South Carolina, has been named the new president of the SIU system (pending formal BOT approval this week).

I (Dave Johnson) was on the search advisory committee, and can confirm that he was one of those most highly ranked by the committee, though the committee did not rank candidates. Our only role was to help select a group to be interviewed by the BOT.

Here are the relevant detailed BOT documents, including the public version of his offer package.

SIU System Presidential Announcement_12-5-19final

1219agendarevised

cppresidentmahonycombined

FA News: Interim administrators (10/17)

Here’s a message to faculty sent on 10/17/2019. 
 
I write to you in some haste and urgency, as it has become increasingly clear that the campus administration, and indeed the Board of Trustees, has decided to adopt a “policy” of removing the interim qualification from the titles of administrators who have not been selected as the result of a full search process. This is, in fact, not a policy but a unilateral decision to abandon policy and make major changes by administrative fiat. 
 

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