Thursday, June 26, 2014

Executive Council 2014-2015 Meeting Locations

The PSU-AAUP Executive Council is composed of five officers (President, Vice-President for Grievances and Academic Freedom, Vice-President for Collective Bargaining, Treasurer, and Secretary) and seven Councilors.
The Council meets every Thursday from noon to 1:30 p.m, click here for locations. All bargaining unit members are welcome to attend Executive Council meetings. Please contact the PSU-AAUP office at (503)-725-4414 or confirm meeting location.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Lesson in Disparity

The New York Times - opinion
June 23rd, 2014
Former President of AAUP, Cary Nelson

Learning takes place everywhere on a college campus. And sometimes, when what is taught outside the classroom undermines and contradicts what you learn in class, classroom instruction becomes meaningless.
Students, for example, may learn the value of fair employment practices in history and literature classes. They may learn the risks to political stability that the exploitation of workers brings. But the values communicated in these lessons do not have much staying power if the college’s own practices dishonor them.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wim Wiewel: The Problem at PSU

Portland Spectrum
June 2014

   This past year, as a full time student at PSU completing my undergraduate degree, I began hearing some whispers and hushed conversations about the inequalities within the Portland State University community. During the fall and winter terms, those whispers revealed numerous inequities regarding the way professors are treated and compensated at PSU.
   The salaries paid to professors, the people that actually teach students, and top administrators, who don’t teach students, reveal a huge and growing disparity.
   Each term, the buzz became more intense, the complaints by professors more vocal, sometimes shared with students in the classrooms. Something was wrong with the pay equity system, and the boiling pot of discontent was on the verge of spilling over.
   Talk of a faculty strike was everywhere. Posters of an impending strike were taped to walls in the restrooms and on the entrance doors to various buildings, and in other unauthorized locations. Something was about to happen. The posturing was over and the message from professors was clear. Pay us a decent and livable wage, with better contract security, or we will strike. In essence, that meant they would quit working and go home, throw the university in turmoil, embarrass the administrative leaders, and make national news. The administration’s response? Essentially: “Sorry, we can’t afford a substantial raise for adjuncts. The status quo must be maintained.”

PSU appoints two interim vice presidents

PSU Vangaurd
June 3rd, 2014

   Two interim administrative officials have been selected to replace two departing vice presidents at Portland State, the university announced in a statement.
   “[PSU] President Wim Wiewel has appointed Dr. Kevin Reynolds as interim vice president for Finance and Administration and Dan Fortmiller as interim vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, both effective July 1,” the statement said.
   The move comes after Monica Rimai, PSU’s current vice president for Finance and Administration, and Jackie Balzer, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, each announced their upcoming departure from PSU to take up positions at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.
   Wiewel said in the statement that Reynolds and Fortmiller “bring deep knowledge of PSU and broad leadership experience that have made them widely respected across campus.”

On Partnerships with Foreign Governments: The Case of Confucius Institutes

This report was prepared by the Association’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure in June 2014.

Globalization has brought new challenges for the protection of academic freedom and other faculty rights. In the operations of North American universities in other countries, administrators often refer to local customs, practices, and laws to justify practices that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) would not tolerate on North American campuses. In 2009, our two organizations adopted a joint statement—On Conditions of Employment at Overseas Campuses—setting forth appropriate employment standards for overseas campuses of North American universities and stating our commitment to see that those standards are met.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Public Worker Testimony Is Protected, Justices Rule

New York Times
June 19th, 2014

   WASHINGTON — The First Amendment protects government employees from retaliation for giving truthful testimony that was not part of their job responsibilities, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
   The case involved Edward R. Lane, a former director of a youth program at a public community college in Alabama, who was fired after giving trial testimony in a public corruption trial.
  “It would be antithetical to our jurisprudence,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court, “to conclude that the very kind of speech necessary to prosecute corruption by public officials — speech by public employees regarding information learned through their employment — may never form the basis for a First Amendment retaliation claim.”

Read the entire article here

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Understanding and Supporting Non-Tenure-Track Faculty

AAUP National
June 13th, 2014 

    Day two of the AAUP’s Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education and One Hundredth Annual Meeting was highlighted by a plenary luncheon presentation by Daniel Maxey, Co-Principal Investigator at The Delphi Project and a Dean’s Fellow in Urban Education Policy in the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education and the Pullias Center for Higher Education.
    The Delphi Project was created to support a better understanding of the changing nature of higher education faculty, chiefly the sharp rise in non-tenure-track faculty. The project examines the factors leading to a majority of faculty being hired off the tenure track; the impact these types of hires have on both teaching and learning; and strategies for addressing the rise of contingency faculty through collaborative change and positive practices.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mary King Wins Georgina M. Smith Award

May 28 , 2014       
      Mary King, professor of economics at Portland State University (PSU), has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the AAUP’s Georgina M. Smith Award.
      King is immediate past president of the PSU-AAUP chapter. She also served on the chapter’s executive committee on numerous occasions, including recently as both PSU-AAUP president and vice-president for collective bargaining. Additionally, she served on this year’s negotiating team. This spring, for the first time in its 35-year history, the PSU-AAUP chapter voted to strike. On the scheduled strike date, however, chapter members found themselves celebrating a 97 percent ratification vote for a new contract instead of striking. King was responsible for much of the team building and communications work that made this victory possible. But she did not rest on her laurels. Once the settlement was tentatively agreed upon, King and her team painstakingly reviewed the contract language prior to the vote to ensure that no changes had been made.