FA News (1/18/2018): Make your vote count

Dear colleagues,

Welcome back for the spring semester. Let me start this message by thanking Debbie Bruns, who has volunteered to serve as FA Secretary for the remainder of Rachel Stocking’s term (Rachel retired in December). The FA depends on work by faculty volunteers, and we’re most thankful to Debbie for her willingness to serve in this important role.

Grievance update Read more of this post

FA News (12/27/2017): A9 grievances

Dear colleagues,
My apologies for intruding over the break, but I promised an update on grievances regarding Article 9 and can now bring you up to speed. 
On Friday, December 22, the Faculty Association filed grievances with the administration regarding the chancellor’s restructuring proposals. 
In our view the administration has violated Article 9 in three respects. 
1. The administration failed to involve Faculty in each of the affected units in the development of proposals (I here use the convention in which the capitalized ‘Faculty’ refers to faculty represented by the FA–tenure-track and tenured faculty outside of law and medicine);
2. The proposals distributed to Faculty on November 13 failed to meet the contractual requirements for proposals, as they did not address the specific circumstances of each proposed school; 
3. The administration failed, until December 20, to identify the appropriate administrator to oversee the proposal distribution and review process. 

FA News (12/19/2017): BOT and restructuring

Dear colleagues, 

I devote this newsletter to commentary on the SIU Board of Trustees meetings on Wednesday and Thursday of last week (December 13 and 14). This commentary will make for a long email, and I cannot even promise that this is our last newsletter before the end of the year: we will report back soon on the grievance about Article 9 we are in the process of finalizing. (If you are interested in joining that grievance, please let me know). But the meetings of last week were vital, perhaps even a turning point; and no one doubts the importance of the current debate for the future of SIUC. 

At the bottom you can find some links news coverage and other items, including the infamous Camaro & Yugo slide show.

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FA News (12/11/17): Updates

A number of important announcements as we near the end of the semester.

1. The Board of Trustees comes to Carbondale

The chancellor’s restructuring proposal has proven to be nothing if not controversial. The SIU administration and Board of Trustees have received numerous letters from faculty, students, professional groups, and alumni, and have learned of votes taken in opposition to the proposed elimination of academic departments by the SIUC Faculty Senate, Graduate Council, Undergraduate Student Government, and Graduate and Professional Student Council. The last has not only voted to oppose elimination of departments, but to censure the chancellor for his unwillingness to consult with the GPSC, his treatment of GPSC representatives, and his attitude toward graduate education.

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FA News (12/2/2017): A9 guide

Here’s the latest newsletter, featuring a guide to the Article 9 process.

Dear colleagues,
Here you’ll find an FA Guide to the Article 9 process.  My apologies for sending it out on Saturday morning–especially as our VP, Segun Ojewuyi, just sent you a message about an IEA election next week. But there is a great deal of confusion on campus, and we wanted to get this sent out as soon as it was ready. A great deal of confusion was inevitable given the decision to try to push changes of this magnitude through all at once, as quickly as possible, at this point in the year. We hope our guide will limit the confusion. 
I will highlight a couple of points.

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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.

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FA News (11/13/2017): Eliminating departments

Dear colleagues,

Things are moving at what Chancellor Montemagno has himself called a “feverish” pace [FS minutes: see below]. I begin with a summary of the most important points right now.

After six weeks on the job, Chancellor Montemagno decided, without consulting with faculty, that he would eliminate all departments on campus, replacing them with schools. Now he is citing “contractual and policy issues” and “our relationship with the FA” for the impossibility of preserving departments [FS minutes]. This is misleading. The chancellor cannot have both schools and the units within them function as “basic academic units”—as academic structures with the same level of autonomy. This is a logical impossibility, not a contractual glitch. Blaming the CBA or SIU policies for his inability to call the residue of eliminated departments “departments” is the equivalent of blaming the military code of conduct for your inability, after you’ve demoted a captain to the rank of corporal, to keep calling him or her a captain.

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FA News (11/6/2017): Restructuring issues

Dear colleagues,

Two announcements to start with:

  1. The FA’s Departmental Representative Council (DRC) will meet this Thursday (11/9) at 5:00 in Parkinson 202. Our topic will be the chancellor’s plans for the future of SIUC, and what role FA members would like to see the FA play in this process. All FA members are welcome to attend.
  2. A group of faculty and students who sponsored the October 25thcommunity meeting has formed a “Coordinating Committee for Change at SIU.” I attach a copy of the group’s letter calling for volunteers: CCC Letter 1.

Chancellor Montemagno’s Vision 2025 proposals continue to generate considerable discussion and controversy on campus and in the press. We’ve gathered some links to coverage on our website. Here, to avoid going on even longer than usual, I’ll address just one central element among the many things he is proposing: the replacement of all academic departments with schools.

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FA News (10/23/2017): A9 and restructuring

Dear colleagues,

Chancellor Montemagno has released the details of his reorganizational scheme, and posted slides and video of his speech of 10/19. The Southern and the DE have accounts not only of the speech but of the question period, which grew heated at times.

The chancellor’s plans touch on all aspects of campus life, including graduate education, the core curriculum, and the role of diversity on campus. We invite all interested in further discussion of his plans and the future of SIUC to take part in the following:

SIUC Community Meeting on Restructuring

Wednesday, 10/25, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Parkinson 124 (Browne Auditorium)

This meeting is co-sponsored by the GPSC and FA. A flyer and document outlining principles for positive change are attached; the principles document will be available at this meeting for any who wish to sign it. Here we focus on the role of faculty in the process for program changes.

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FA News (10/3/17): Concerns re restructuring

Dear colleagues,

In his State of the University speech last week, Chancellor Montemagno outlined an ambitious plan to restructure SIUC.

The heart of the chancellor’s plan is to replace all academic departments with schools. Every single department on campus not already part of a school structure would be merged with some number of other departments to form a new interdisciplinary unit. Most of our existing academic programs would be housed in these new schools; others would be terminated.