Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Clarion Call

Inside Higher Ed
July 29th, 2014


Strong shared governance hasn’t always been a defining feature of the American higher education system – powerful external governing boards and presidents differentiated American colleges from the European university early on. But slowly, over several centuries, American faculty members gained primary control over the curriculum and personnel matters, and a seat at the table during other important institutional discussions. Shared governance as an ideal and a practice peaked in the mid-20th century, just as American colleges and universities achieved world-class status. And although faculty input wasn’t the only reason for the system’s preeminence, it was a major factor, since professors are best-positioned to make academic decisions.
So begins a new, extensive history of faculty governance from Larry G. Gerber, professor emeritus of history at Auburn University and former chair of the American Association of University Professors’ Committee on College and University Governance. But along with this detailed accounting of the past comes Gerber's warning about the future: Shared governance is eroding due to the rise of adjunct faculty employment and an increasingly corporate style of management – both of which threaten the entire U.S. system.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Confucius Controversies

Inside Higher Ed
July 24th, 2014


The debate about whether North American colleges should host Confucius Institutes – centers for Chinese language and culture study funded by an entity of the Chinese government – has intensified in recent weeks. About 90 American universities and eight Canadian higher education institutions house Confucius Institutes, which are run in collaboration with Chinese partner universities and staffed, in part, by visiting language instructors hired by Hanban, the Chinese government agency that oversees the Confucius Institutes as well as a parallel program at the K-12 level, the Confucius Classrooms. Hanban also supplies Confucius Institutes with Chinese language textbooks and teaching materials.
Confucius Institutes, which have sprung up at hundreds of university campuses around the globe since the program’s launch in 2004, have been controversial almost from the start. The resources they have provided to expand Chinese language teaching worldwide have been widely welcomed, but their rapid expansion has raised concerns about whether universities have entered into arrangements that could compromise their academic integrity and independence.
Critics have asked whether universities should be lending their imprimaturs to institutes sponsored by a foreign government – and an autocratic one at that. The Confucius Institutes have often been likened to other foreign government outposts that promote language learning and positive, benign views of their respective cultures -- notably the British Institute, the Alliance Fran├žaises and Germany’s Goethe Institutes – but the major difference, as critics of Confucius Institutes regularly point out, is that these other entities are not housed in universities.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Member Message July 15th, 2014

July 15th, 2014

1) Reminder: AP Caucus on Tuesday, July 29 at 12pm to 1:30pm in room Smith 238. Light lunch will be served. Please RSVP to Emily that you will attend so we can ensure we can feed everyone. Academic professionals are encouraged to invite and bring Non-members (who you can encourage to fill out an application too!) Download a member application

2) The AAUP Collective Bargaining Team will be continuing bargaining on salaries and implementation of the New ranks will be on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 3:00 to 5:00 MCB 6th floor. All members are welcome to observe.
3. The Grievance committee is pleased to announce Amanda Smith Byron from Conflict Resolution will be joining the team. Amanda has considerable experience in mediation and conflict resolution and she is an awesome addition to the team. Welcome Amanda!
4. PSU has announced that it has formally adopted the following policies:
Consensual Relations Policy. PSU-AAUP negotiated the revision to this policy and agreed to its implementation in this MOU.
Acceptable Use Policy. PSU-AAUP negotiated the revision to this policy and agreed to its implementation in this MOU.
Equity in Public Contracting Policy. PSU-AAUP was properly noticed about the of the policy and given the opportunity to provide input and demand to bargain. We provided no input, and did not demand to bargain. We saw no issues that changed past practice within AAUP's jurisdiction, and the policy has minimal impact on faculty.
Signature Authority & Delegation Policy. PSU-AAUP was properly noticed about the of the policy and given the opportunity to provide input and demand to bargain. We provided no input, and did not demand to bargain. We saw no issues that changed past practice within AAUP's jurisdiction. The policy has some impact on research faculty responsible for contracting for services but it does not change previous procedures. It has a minimal impact on all other faculty.

5. Mediation with PSU attorneys has been scheduled August 14 and 15 with State Conciliator Janet Gilman to attempt to resolve the three grievances reported in the July 2 message. We are hopeful we can reach resolution through mediation but remain committed to the cases and to adjudication if mediation is not successful. We will report what we can once we've met.

Past Member Email messages

• 07/09/2014 - [AAUP News] AP Caucus July 29 12:00 noon SMSU 238 Lunch Provided RSVP please
• 07/02/2014 - [AAUP News] Member Message July 2, 2014
• 06/17/2014 - PSU-AAUP Bargaining Update June 16, 2014
• 06/13/2014 - AAUP - Member Message June 13th, 2014
• 06/06/2014 - [AAUP News] Update on New Ranks Bargaining and more
• 05/26/2014 - AAUP: Raises are finally here! May 26, 2014
• 05/21/2014 - AAUP Membership message May 21, 2014
• 05/20/2014 - Nomination to AAUP-CBC meeting
• 05/13/2014 - AAUP Member Message May 12, 2014
• 04/27/2014 - AAUP: The Fight for the Budget and Academic Values
• 04/23/2014 - AAUP: Notice of Two Public Forums for revising PSU P&T Guidelines

Friday, July 11, 2014

The One Percent: The Corporatizion of American Higher Education

Forbes
July 10th, 2014

Co-authors Andrew Erwin and Marjorie Wood discovered student debt and low-wage faculty labor rose faster at state schools with the highest paid presidents than the national average. Moreover, administrative spending surpassed scholarship spending by more than 2 to 1 as full-time faculty declined as a percentage of full-time equivalent (FTE) faculty.
Following the fall 2008 financial crisis we expect to see drastic reductions in overall pay – especially at the executive level. This is not the case. In the “top 25” presidential pay rose from $727,002 in 2009 to $974,006 in 2012 – an average inflation-adjusted increase of 34 percent in only 3 years. Comparatively, the American Association of University Professors reports full-time professorate pay at public and private research universities rose 2.2 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, from 2007-08 to 2013-14.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Academic Professional Caucus July 29th, 2014

Academic Professional Caucus on July 29, 2014 at 12:00 Noon to 1:30 PM. It will be located in SMSU 238.
We hope everyone is enjoying the nice weather. Its time to get together and check in.
Come to the AP caucus on July 29, light lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to Emily so we can have enough food for everyone.
Look forward to seeing you soon.
 
Past Member Messages:
    07/03/2014 - [AAUP News] Member Message July 2, 2014
    06/17/2014 - PSU-AAUP Bargaining Update June 16, 2014
    06/13/2014 - AAUP - Member Message June 13th, 2014
    05/21/2014 - AAUP Membership message May 21, 2014
    05/13/2014 - AAUP Member Message May 12, 2014
    04/27/2014 - AAUP: The Fight for the Budget and Academic Values
    04/20/2014 - AAUP: Ratification Vote Results and Next Steps
 
PSU-AAUP Website Blogs:
      Collective Bargaining Update
      Grievance Settlement Update
      Local Faculty Issues of Interest
      Oregon Higher Education Faculty issues
      National Higher Education Faculty Issues

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In a Fight for More Funds, Professors Quantify Colleges’ Neglect of Instruction

The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 8th, 2014

The humble calculator has emerged as a powerful weapon for faculty members battling administrators over spending.
When university leaders say they need to hold down instructional spending because of a budget crunch, the American Association of University Professors often seeks to debunk their claims by crunching numbers.
Nearly always, the AAUP’s financial analyses produce figures showing that the university in question remains in solid shape and has much more money to pay the faculty than its administration lets on. The analysts argue that the university’s real problems are skewed spending priorities, with too much money going to support administrative bloat and athletics programs.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Who Does Your College Think Its Peers Are?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
July 8th, 2014

Colleges selected by institutions as peers show the power players in the world of higher education. Those choices also reveal sometimes surprising connections.
Explore the 1,595 colleges in this network to find out more

Monday, July 7, 2014

93 Public College Presidents Make More Than President Obama

Huffington Post - Education
July 2nd, 2014

Nearly 100 public college presidents and chancellors made more money in 2013 than President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
A review by The Huffington Post of the annual report from The Chronicle of Higher Education showed that the heads of 93 colleges made more than the Obamas' reported total income of $503,183 for the year.
Nine public university presidents, out of that group of 93, made more than $1 million in 2013.
The Obamas' 2013 income represents a fall-off from 2012, when the first family reported earning $608,611. Yet even compared to that higher figure, 54 colleges and chancellors still made more money in 2013 than the Obamas did in 2012.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Member Message July 2nd, 2014

July 2nd, 2014
In this message:
1. Collective Bargaining Update- No new date set for Bargaining New Ranks but August looks hopeful
2. AAUP Grievance Settlement- Communications Policy Changes October 2013
3. Dates set for AAUP Unfair Practice Charge against PSU regarding PSU threat to cut off faculty email if they went on strike
4. Settlement talks underway on the following
      1. AAUP Unfair Practice Charge regarding PSU demonstration guidelines
      2. AAUP Grievance regarding closure of the Early Childhood Training Center
      3. AAUP Grievance regarding creation of Office of Academic Innovation
      4. AAUP Grievance regarding SHAC Winter Closure
      5. AAUP Grievance regarding the Unilateral reduction in pay of a Program Administrator II
5. Supreme Court Decision- Harris v. Quinn and what it means for PSU-AAUP
6. Academic Professional Caucus Save the Date- July 29 noon Smith 238
7. AAUP-Oregon Executive Committee meeting rescheduled to Thursday August 7 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Portland State. Room to be determined.
8. Oregon State University Faculty Organizing to be announced
9. Carol Mack announces resignation as Vice Provost Academic Personnel and Leadership Development to return to the faculty
10. News you can use
     1. Past email messages
     2. PSU-AAUP Website
         1. Grievance Settlement Updates
         2. Collective Bargaining updates
         3. Association Endorsements and Positions
         4. Selected PSU-AAUP News on the website
         5. Selected Oregon Higher Ed Faculty News on the website
         6. Selected National Higher Education News on the website
    3. Links to all the news we track
         1. Portland State Faculty News
         2. Oregon Higher Education Faculty News
         3. Higher Education Faculty News from around the Nation
1. Collective Bargaining Update- No new date set for bargaining new ranks, but August looks hopeful
PSU-AAUP and PSU last met on June 16, 2014 to negotiate the new ranks. The two sides are in agreement about salaries, but are not in agreement on implementation. See PSU-AAUP Bargaining Update June 16, 2014 for more details. You can track the progress in bargaining through the past member message links below, or the bargaining update blog on the PSU-AAUP website.
The teams have exchanged tentative dates to meet twice since June 16 but keep running into problems with vacations and conferences. We have dates under discussion for August and hope to have dates set soon.
2. AAUP Grievance Settlement- Communications Policy Changes October 2013
In October the University promulgated the PSU Communication Procedure requiring a new communications authorization reimbursement form. This new policy aggregated and altered the existing “Wireless Communication Policy and Allowance” and the “Broadband Internet Service Reimbursement Policy.”  Associated with the change was the immediate and unannounced termination of reimbursements under the previous policies for approximately 26 AAUP Members.
PSU-AAUP filed a Division A contractual grievance citing the failure to bargain pursuant to Article 8- Past practices of the collective bargaining agreement, and failure to abide by the termination notice requirements of the previous policies. PSU-AAUP and PSU met on numerous occasions. PSU-AAUP and PSU signed an MOU in June with PSU-AAUP agreeing to the new policy, PSU agreeing to pay AAUP members who were due reimbursement for the month of October 2013 under the previous policies, and PSU agreeing to negotiate with PSU-AAUP over any contemplated future changes to this reimbursement program.

3. Dates set for AAUP Unfair Practice Charge against PSU about threat to cut off email
In April 2013 PSU promulgated a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document, and a link to the University Demonstration Guidelines. The FAQ document advised that if they went on strike they would would be denied access to their PSU email and PSU electronic services. PSU advised they would enforce their demonstration guidelines, which PSU-AAUP found to be unlawful. PSU-AAUP found both unlawfully interfered with a member's right to participate in AAUP, and interfered with their ability to engage in activity protected by the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act. PSU-AAUP filed an Unfair Practice Charge with the Employment Relations Board against PSU and the Board accepted the case.
The Employment Relations Board has reserved two dates for the hearing: Wednesday September 3, 2014 and Thursday September 4, 2014 at a location to be determined (we have asked that it be held at PSU) All members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

4. Settlement talks underway
1. AAUP Unfair about Demonstration Guidelines
PSU-AAUP found an enthusiastic ally in the Oregon Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in this case.  The PSU Demonstration Guidelines prohibited the use of traditional picket signs- those made of wooden sticks affixed to large placards. This is a matter that the ACLU has successfully challenged elsewhere. The issue is even more interesting as PSU attorney P.K. Runkles-Pearson is also the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Oregon ACLU. PSU and PSU-AAUP have entered into settlement discussions about the Demonstration Guidelines, and we anticipate we will reach an agreement that will be the template for a new Demonstration Guidelines that comports with the law.
2. AAUP Grievance regarding SHAC Closure
This past winter 2013 SHAC leadership decided to close SHAC and force AAUP members to use vacation or unpaid leave December 24-27. This is the first time a unit of PSU made the decision to close independent of the University Closure policy. PSU-AAUP determined that the unilateral action violated both the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act as the matter required bargaining with AAUP, and it violated Article 8- Past Practices of the Contract. PSU-AAUP filed a grievance, issued a demand to bargain, and filed a parallel Unfair Practice Charge (which we put in abeyance pending the outcome of the grievance). We have since entered settlement talks with PSU attorneys. We hope to reach an agreement that clarifies whether individual units can close independent of the University Closure policy, and that could return the vacation days that were taken from SHAC employees who would otherwise not have chosen to use them at that time.
3. AAUP Grievance on creation of the Office of Academic Innovation
Last Summer 3 academic professionals- two instructional designers and one program assistant, were given notices of layoff in the Office of Academic Innovation soon after the unit was created. No previous document about the OAI creation, including those provided the Faculty Senate Educational Policy Committee (EPC) who made a decision approving the unit, provided any indication that employees would be released. One of the employees was a member of the AAUP Executive Counsel and Co-Chair of the PSU-AAUP Strike Strategy Committee and the notice of layoff arrived right after that group had its first meeting and promulgated its first newsletter. PSU-AAUP also determined that a significant amount of those instructional designer's positions was slated to be transferred to lower paid new classified employee positions.
PSU-AAUP filed a grievance on the matter in Fall 2013 and then an Unfair Practice Charge in Winter 2014. PSU and PSU-AAUP interrupted the grievance process at Step Two to attempt settlement talks soon after we ratified the contract. Each side has submitted settlement proposals that could bring at least one of the laid off employees back to work with potential reinstatement rights for the other two. We remain hopeful we can settle the matter soon, but are prepared to adjudicate if settlement is not reached.
4. AAUP Grievance regarding closure of Early Childhood Training Center (ECTC)
in Winter 2014 the two academic professionals who had been in ECTC for many years were noticed that their unit was being closed and they were given their 180 day notice. PSU-AAUP filed a grievance citing the failure to follow Article 22- Retrenchment and included the matter in the parallel Unfair Practice Charge. The grievance was denied at Step One and on its way to Step Two was referred to settlement discussions with PSU attorneys. We've explored some settlement options but are not clear if a settlement is reachable.
5. AAUP Grievance about the unilateral reduction of pay of a Program Administrator II.
In Winter 2014 a program administrator II was given notice of layoff and at the same time offered a program administrator II position for $20,000 less per year. The duties of new position were essentially the same, but the scope of responsibility, and the work load of the new position, was larger. PSU-AAUP filed a grievance challenging the reduction in pay, a demand to bargain the decision and effects of the layoff, and included the matter in the parallel Unfair Labor Practice Charge filed on other bargaining violation matters (the ULP is in abeyance pending attempts to resolve the matter directly with PSU). It was denied at Step One, then PSU-AAUP and PSU attorneys agreed to attempt resolution during post ratification settlement talks. We are still far apart.
PSU-AAUP proposed confidential mediation on the matter. PSU agreed to engage in mediation provided PSU-AAUP was willing to engage in mediation on the AAUP OAI grievance and AAUP ECTC Elimination grievance. PSU-AAUP agreed. AAUP General Counsel David Reese has reach out to Oregon State Conciliator Janet Gilman, the same mediator to help us reach tentative agreement. We will advise when mediation is scheduled and whether it was successful.
5. Supreme Court Decision- Harris v. Quinn and what it means for PSU-AAUP
The Supreme Court issued their decision June 30 in Harris V Quinn rejecting the argument that Personal Assistants (PA) employed by both the State of Illinois and the home bound customers they serve need to pay fair share fees to SEIU for matters germane to collective bargaining.

It is a narrow decision that does not throw out existing law previously set by the Supremes in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed. 431 U. S. 209 (1977). 656 F. 3d, at 698 establishing the justification of fair share fees to prevent freeriders in unions, or how those fees should be collected to balance nonmember first amendment rights with collective bargaining interests (Pickering v Board of Ed. of Township high School District 205, Will Cty., 391 U.S.563 (1968))
The decision pivots on the fact that these employees are not full- fledged public employees and should thus not be treated as such under the previous legal tests that justify agency fees. It is a very narrow ruling and will only apply to employees of third parties that are paid using public funds. It does not annul our ability to collect fair share fees nor will it require that we change the way we collect those fees.
The decision does, however, open a new argument against fair share fee agreements in those cases where Abood can be similarly challenged. There can be no argument that PSU-AAUP bargaining unit members are public employees, as are all higher education faculty members in the sphere we operate, so it is unlikely to have an impact on our niche. It will, however, weaken the house of labor as the Right to Work Foundation is emboldened to take on more agency fee agreements that arguably look like Harris v Quinn. The decision may limit our fellow Oregon unions SEIU 503 and Oregon AFSCME from collecting Fair Share Fees from its home health care workers, and this will have an impact on their efforts, as prominent voices supporting public employees in Salem, on their ability to protect the interests of all Oregon pubic employees.

6. Academic Professional Caucus
The next academic professional caucus will be Tuesday July 29 12:00 noon to 1;30 pm in Smith 238. Light lunch will be served. Please RSVP to Emily that you will attend so we can ensure we can feed everyone. Academic professionals are encouraged to invite and bring Non-members (who you can encourage to fill out an application too!) Download a member application

7. AAUP-Oregon Executive Committee meeting
PSU-AAUP is affiliated with AAUP-Oregon, which has been operational since the faculty at University of Oregon (United Faculties of University of Oregon) ratified their first contract as an AAUP/AFT joint chapter in October 2013. All PSU-AAUP members are members of AAUP-Oregon and are welcome to attend the Executive Committee meeting (Executive Committee meetings are held 4x/year and rotate between PSU, UO, and OSU)
The next AAUP-Oregon Executive Committee meeting will be Thursday August 7 from 2:00 to 6:00 pm at Portland State University. Room will be announced as soon as it is booked.

8. Oregon State University faculty organizing may commence soon
National AAUP and National AFT, in conjunction with AAUP-Oregon and AFT-Oregon, have reviewed its recent faculty survey of the Oregon State University and will explore organizing the faculty at Oregon State University. We will share more information as it becomes available.
9. Carol Mack announces resignation as Vice Provost Academic Personnel and Leadership Development
Carol Mack has been the Vice Provost Academic Personnel and Leadership Development since approximately 2006. She has been the chief spokesperson for two presidents in four full contract bargaining sessions and countless other negotiations with AAUP. We have observed her role has been difficult-  her roots are as a long term PSU faculty member (she has been at PSU 26 years), with a deep understanding of the PSU faculty and culture, yet as Vice Provost Academic Personnel she has needed to represent the desires of an administrative team who did not come from PSU, who have remained relatively disconnected from the faculty and have not cared for the history and culture Carol and we all know so well.  Still, she approached her role with professionalism, equanimity, and maturity. She has been a strong advocate for her constituency, and while we disagreed with her on many issues, we reached agreement with her on many- indeed, most of the issues brought before us.
Thank you for your service, Carol, and welcome back to the faculty.

10. News you can use
2. On the PSU-AAUP Website
3. Links we track:

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

‘Partial-Public’ Workers Can’t Be Made to Pay Union Fees, Supreme Court Says

The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 30th, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt a limited blow to public-sector unions when it ruled that thousands of home health-care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay union fees that help cover the cost of collective bargaining, the Associated Press reported.
The court’s 5-to-4 ruling in the case, Harris v. Quinn, No. 11-681, characterized those workers as “partial-public” employees who could not be forced to pay such fees, which are known as agency fees.
However, the ruling stopped short of overturning a precedent that lets states require “full-fledged” public employees to pay such union fees.
In a written statement on its website, the American Association of University Professors said that the court’s categorization of the workers in question as “partial-public” employees was likely to have “little applicability” to faculty members at public colleges.