Monday, September 29, 2014

RSVP to Member Meeting on October 2nd!


PSU-AAUP will hold its fall membership meeting on Thursday, October 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Native American Center.
Immediately following lunch, Senator Jeff Merkley will present his “Fighting for College Affordability Tour” at 1:30 p.m.

Please join your colleagues for lunch and lively discussion.  Hope to see you there!
Please RSVP to Emily TODAY, Monday, September 29.

Attached is a flyer for the event. Please post and/or distribute! Thanks.

Take care.
Pam Miller
President, PSU-AAUP

Thursday, September 25, 2014

PSU-AAUP Fall Membership Meeting


PSU-AAUP will hold its fall membership meeting on Thursday, October 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Native American Center.

Immediately following lunch, Senator Jeff Merkley will present his “Fighting for College Affordability Tour” at 1:30 p.m.

Please join your colleagues for lunch and lively discussion.  Hope to see you there!
Please RSVP to Emily by Monday, September 29.

Attached is a flyer for the event. Please post and/or distribute! Thanks.

Take care.
Pam Miller
President, PSU-AAUP

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall 2014 Member News

Fall 2014 Member News
(Click on links below to read article)

Collective Bargaining Update

NTTF Seniority and Multi-year contracts
Since ratification of the new agreement the Collective Bargaining Team has been in negotiations with administration over implementation of the multiyear contract provision...
Ratified Agreement on New Ranks      
As previously reported, PSU-AAUP reached agreement on New Rank Salaries and implementation...
New Contract available for download
The New Contract can be downloaded here...

Unfair Labor Practice update

You may recall that on March 9, just prior to the strike vote on March 12, PSU sent a link to the entire campus community with a link to FAQs where PSU threatened to cut off the email of any AAUP member who went on strike...

Grievance Mediation Update

PSU-AAUP and PSU attorneys met three times in August to address three outstanding grievances: the elimination of ECTC, the salary reduction of an academic professional, and the layoff of academic professionals in the Office of Academic Innovation.
All three grievance address, at least in part, PSU’s not following Article 22 of the collective bargaining agreement regarding layoffs of academic professionals.

Elimination of Early Childhood Training Center
We are pleased to share that we reached agreement on the ECTC...
Reduction of Pay of Academic Professional
We are pleased to share we reached agreement on the reduction of pay of academic professional based upon the inappropriate use of Article 17 Section 5...
Layoff in the Office of Academic Innovation
We reached agreement in principle on the on this difficult grievance that should bring the most senior instructional designers back to work, and favorable monetary settlements for the other instructional designer and the Program Administrator 1...

Contractual Grievances on their way to Arbitration
Academic Professional Denied Representation in Disciplinary Meeting
An Academic Professional received a calendar invite from their supervisor for a meeting that included Anne Lewis, from HR. She was advised it was a meeting where an oral reprimand with a notation to file would be imposed...

Other Employment Issues

New Hire not provided a contract consistent with the position advertised
A new hire responded to an advertisement for a 12 month, 1.0 FTE fully benefited position with employment commencing July 1, 2014...

Fixed Term Faculty Member forced to have double payroll deductions for Health insurance premiums over HR error
A PSU-AAUP member properly arranged pregnancy leave and to extend leave with an unpaid leave of absence to care for the new born...

PSU Board of Trustees Update

Armed Police at PSU
On September 11, 2014 the Portland State University Board of Trustees approved the establishment of a Special Committee on Campus Public Safety for the purpose of confirming the need for an armed sworn police department...
New Strategic Plan for PSU to be developed. What is PSU to become now?
With the adoption of this resolution, the PSU Board of Trustees has begun the strategic planning process to re-define what PSU is to become under the new governance model. The President has promised to include faculty- union and faculty senate appointees alike- to inform the decision. Stay tuned for more details.
PSU-AAUP President Pam Miller gives 10 minute presentation to Board about PSU-AAUP
This was the first formal introduction the Board was to receive about the Association, our membership, our goals and priorities, and the role we have played in at PSU. Pam formally requested that PSU-AAUP have a permanent place on each Board of Trustee agenda...


Internal Organizer position
The PSU-AAUP Internal Organizer position description is in the process of being revised and we expect to post the position at around October 1....
The hunt for office space continues
One of the lessons learned is that we can’t have three employees in the current PSU-AAUP office, and we definitely can’t run a contract action campaign with contractors and many activists in that space on top of the Association’s regular work...
National AAUP and AAUP-Oregon Dues increase
Member Dues are currently .888%. The National AAUP annual meeting approved a dues increase effective January 1, 2015 of 2.12% (rounded). Phase Two of AAUP-Oregon dues will be implemented on November 1, 2015 from .05% to .10%. Pursuant to Article 7 of the PSU-AAUP Bylaws, on November 1, 2014 PSU-AAUP dues will thus rise to .938%...

Monday, September 22, 2014

PSU-AAUP Solidarity at Tomorrow’s Convocation


At tomorrow's convocation (3:00 in the Smith Ballroom), let's show our solidarity as the academic year gets underway.

Please wear PSU-AAUP buttons, pins, lanyards and/or red shirts.

Be sure to watch for more news tomorrow!

Take care.
Pam Miller
President, PSU-AAUP

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Can you help with PSU-AAUP Task Forces and Committees?

I hope this message finds you all well.

When our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was ratified in spring term of 2014, it contained two Letters of Agreement (LOA):
  •    creation of the Task Force on Family Friendly Policies (to review current policies and to identify possible changes for employees balancing family and career),
  •    creation of the Task Force on Academic Quality (to look at the many components of quality teaching and student support). 
If you are interested in learning more about these two Task Forces, or would like to nominate yourself or someone else to represent AAUP, please be in touch with me.
In Article 18 we also agreed to create a Task Force to review employment practices of NTTF, a joint labor/management task force will be created to examine the numerous issues that have an impact on NTTF.  Please be in touch with Leanne Serbulo if you would be willing to serve on this task force.

Lastly, at their last meeting PSU Board of Trustees has charged PSU to work on a strategic plan for the campus community and that work group will get started early in fall term. This will be a large committee of 25-30 people that will represent the many aspects of PSU. The work of this committee will most likely be done in smaller groups. It is very important that AAUP has solid representation during this planning process. If you are interested in learning more the planning process, or would like to nominate yourself or someone else to represent AAUP, please be in touch with me.

I realize it is early in the academic year to be asking for you to participate and volunteer. However, these groups are forming right now so they can get their important work underway. If you are new to PSU, this is a good way to meet people from other departments and to begin your service to both AAUP and to PSU. If you are not new to PSU, I ask that you consider giving some time to AAUP so that we can have an impact on the future of this institution.

Thanks for listening.
More news to come very soon! Lots going on!

Take care.
Pam Miller
President, PSU-AAUP

AAUP Member Message September 15th, 2014

Hello everyone:

As the new academic year begins, I wanted to say hello and thank each of you for all you do to keep PSU going. This was a busy summer for PSU-AAUP and in a few days, we will fill you on those details and also share the dates and times for our planned meetings and events for fall term.
For a start on fall member meetings, here are the dates and times for fall caucus meetings:

Academic Professionals: October 14th, 2014 at 12-1pm in Smith room 238
Non Tenure Track Faculty: October 15th, 2014 at 12-1pm in Smith room 327
Tenure Track Faculty: October 21st, 2014 at 12-1pm in Smith room 238

We need to keep our connections and communication active as we enter this new year so that together, we can meet the challenges and opportunities that are waiting and ready for our attention and action.

Take care. More soon.

Pam Miller, President, PSU-AAUP

Monday, September 15, 2014

Canzano: It's campus cannibalism at Portland State, but football is still fighting

The Oregonian
September 12th, 2014

On Friday morning at 10 a.m., buses are scheduled to pick up the Portland State football team at the Stott Center loop and transport the Vikings five hours away to Pullman, Wash, where they will presumably be throttled on Saturday in exchange for a $500,000 payday.
Before that, though, let's solve the "Case of the Missing $20,000," because right now, that little mystery has the chronically fractured and typically divided university that operates on the Park blocks even further fragmented.
Let's back up.
Because four years ago after Nigel Burton was hired as Vikings coach, he was minding his business, driving to what is now Providence Park for his first-ever home game, and observed one of his starting defensive backs walking out of a 7-11 with a Slurpee.
"He thought a Slurpee was the way to go," Burton said. "I'm like, 'No way -- we can't continue that.'"
Burton decided his team would stay in a hotel on game days. They'd eat meals together, have meetings, and bond. In order to offset the cost, and some other travel benefits he wanted that weren't included in the program's $3.5 million budget, Burton decided he'd need to raise the funds himself.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

On Trigger Warnings

September 9th, 2014

A current threat to academic freedom in the classroom comes from a demand that teachers provide warnings in advance if assigned material contains anything that might trigger difficult emotional responses for students.  This follows from earlier calls not to offend students’ sensibilities by introducing material that challenges their values and beliefs.  The specific call for “trigger warnings” began in the blogosphere as a caution about graphic descriptions of rape on feminist sites, and has now migrated to university campuses in the form of requirements or proposals that students be alerted to all manner of topics that some believe may deeply offend and even set off a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) response in some individuals.  Oberlin College’s original policy (since tabled to allow for further debate in the face of faculty opposition) is an example of the range of possible trigger topics: “racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other issues of privilege and oppression.”   It went on to say that a novel like Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart might “trigger readers who have experienced racism, colonialism, religious persecution, violence, suicide and more.”  It further cautioned faculty to “[r]emove triggering material when it does not contribute directly to the course learning goals.”
At Wellesley College students objected to a sculpture of a man in his underwear because it might be a source of "triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault." While the students’ petition acknowledged that the sculpture might not disturb everyone on campus, it insisted that we share a “responsibility to pay attention to and attempt to answer the needs of all of our community members." Even after the artist explained that the figure was supposed to be sleepwalking, students continued to insist it be moved indoors.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Poorer By Degrees

Acadame Blog
June 2014

Here is a link to Poorer by Degrees, a new short documentary by Jennifer Shuberth, a former faculty member at Portland State University:
The documentary questions the premise that our economic growth requires a dramatic increase in the number of college graduates. Indeed, it suggests that the increased emphasis on completing degrees may actually just be increasing the pool of over-qualified applicants for all levels of employment and forcing less educated workers out of the workforce. In effect, a college degree has become increasingly necessary to find employment, but that employment is no longer guaranteed to provide a sufficient salary to offset the personal debt that increasingly must be incurred to complete the degree.
The documentary shows that the biggest proponent of increased college completion rates has been the Lumina Foundation, which, not coincidentally, has been funded by Sallie Mae, the largest holder of student debt.
The documentary also makes the very noteworthy point that the Lumina Foundation has not advocated any increased public investment in—spending on–public higher education.
The following point is not made in the documentary, but given the broader observations that the documentary makes about on the impact of economic class on who is winning and losing in the competition for employment, it seems especially troubling that Lumina has placed particular emphasis on increasing degree completion among economically disadvantaged groups, when those groups are the most likely to incur debt and the least likely to find well-paying employment immediately after graduating.
In any case, whether you completely agree with the documentary’s view of Lumina or not, it does very convincingly make the case that simply increasing the number of people with college degrees is not going to solve the broader issues with employment and wages that are critical to the future of the U.S. economy and of the American middle-class.