Results of Faculty Surveys of CAS Dean Alex Enyedi (2011 and 2014)

Faculty Evaluation of Dr. Alex Enyedi, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Conducted by the WMU-AAUP in 2011 and 2014 per Article 19 of the Agreement

Results of 2014 Evaluation

Note: The 27 pages of results from the 2014 faculty evaluation of CAS Dean Alex Enyedi include a number of categories focusing on issues that could be perceived as more important to the faculty than to senior university administration, such as statements about whether the dean is “sensitive to faculty concerns.” (83 percent of CAS faculty participants agreed or strongly agreed that Dean Enyedi is.) The information below focuses on key measures that would (ideally) be considered important by both faculty and senior administration.

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Faculty Evaluation Data

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2011 Evaluation of CAS Dean Alex Enyedi (summary results):

2011 Faculty Evaluation Data

WMU-AAUP Remarks to the Board of Trustees on January 22, 2015

Remarks by WMU-AAUP President Lisa Minnick

WMU Board of Trustees Meeting on January 22, 2015Photo by Christian Randolph/Kalamazoo Gazette

First, a few words in support of our support staff colleagues in their efforts in pursuit of pay equity. We have a situation on campus in which some of our support workers are making eleven dollars and fifty cents an hour after eight or ten years of service to the university, some who are only making a dollar an hour more now than when they started here five years ago or even ten years ago, and even some – brace yourselves for this one – some who have served this university for 20, 25, and even 30 or more years but are still making only 12 or $13 an hour.

In the College of Arts and Sciences, Dean Enyedi believed that we could do better. He believed that we should do better, that the support staff colleagues who keep this whole enterprise afloat deserve to be compensated fairly and sufficiently. And he’s right. They do.

As president of the WMU-AAUP, my constituency is the board-appointed faculty, not the support staff, and not the dean. So in a way it seems right that my usual speaking slot on the board’s agenda has been eliminated as of today – and it was left to a support staff colleague to have to break that news – because right now I am speaking not as the president of the faculty union but simply as a faculty member, and as a member of the community of people who are this university, and as a colleague and friend of the mostly women but also a few men who do the difficult and indispensable but often invisible and underappreciated work of keeping our offices running smoothly and functioning effectively.

This is my eleventh year of service to Western Michigan University, and I could not be more proud of our students or have more respect and admiration for my faculty and staff colleagues. But today, as I stand here as the elected representative of the 870 members of the board-appointed faculty – and I won my re-election in November with nearly 70 percent of the vote – as I stand here speaking during the public comments, rather than alongside the other faculty and student leaders, I have to say that I am disappointed.

Last semester, members of the board, you extended President Dunn’s contract and increased his salary. In doing so, Chair Hettinger, you rightly cited the need for stability on campus during a time that is transitional for us, for the state, and for the country, and you correctly noted the importance of steady leadership in such times.

That is exactly what we have in Dean Enyedi, whose leadership of the largest college on campus has demonstrated precisely those qualities that we should be seeking out, developing, and rewarding in our leaders: vision, transparency, creativity, accountability, respect for the faculty and staff who do the work of the college and for the students we serve, and above all, that elusive quality of competence. How can we afford to remove an outstanding, effective leader and risk destabilizing the largest and one of the most productive colleges on campus? I am calling on you, Provost Greene, President Dunn, and members of the board, to reverse this decision, which goes against the wishes and judgment of 91 percent of the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, who answered yes to the question of whether Dean Enyedi should be kept on in their evaluation of the dean, conducted by the WMU-AAUP.

To conclude, members of the board, I am asking you to give our support staff colleagues a fair hearing and to reconsider the termination of one of the most competent, ethical, and respected administrators on this campus.

Click here to view MLive video of TAU President Eric Denby and PIO President Tom Kostrzewa addressing the board.

WMU Board of Trustees Meeting on January 22, 2015Photo by Christian Randolph/Kalamazoo Gazette



WMU Faculty Perspectives from the 2014 WMU-AAUP Negotiation Survey

In April and May 2014, as part of the preparation for contract negotiations, the WMU-AAUP conducted a survey of the Board-appointed faculty at Western Michigan University.

The survey addressed various topics and issues, including faculty priorities for negotiations as well as their perceptions about university leaders, campus initiatives and priorities, and the availability and allocation of institutional resources. Faculty members were also asked about cultural, climate, and aspirational issues. The survey was sent by U.S. mail to the 877 members of the Board-appointed faculty in early April 2014. A digital option was made available as well.

A total of 250 respondents returned the completed survey by mail or completed it electronically, for a rate of return of 28.5%. While a larger rate of return is obviously preferable, the results provided the WMU-AAUP leadership and negotiation team with interesting and useful insights into the perceptions and perspectives of a substantial number of WMU faculty members. Additionally, the trends suggested in the survey data largely correspond with perspectives that have been widely articulated in formal and informal discussions with and among faculty members across disciplines, colleges, and departments leading up to last summer’s contract negotiations.

Although the data was collected primarily for the WMU-AAUP negotiation team to use as they prepared to bargain the 2014-17 contract, and therefore much of it was not intended to be made public, we are releasing the information below in light of recent events on campus, including Provost Tim Greene’s decision not to renew the contract of College of Arts and Sciences Dean Alex Enyedi.

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demographicsprioritiesFavorability Ratings

Update from Jan. 23 meeting; special chapter meeting scheduled for Jan. 30

At the chapter meeting on Friday, January 23, the faculty voted to authorize the WMU-AAUP to put the question of confidence in Provost Tim Greene to a faculty vote.

In authorizing the vote, faculty members present cited a pattern of behavior, including Provost Greene’s recent decision not to renew the contract of CAS Dean Alex Enyedi, along with concerns about a perceived lack of respect for the faculty and for shared governance, lack of transparency in decision-making, mishandling of gender equity cases, problems with the academic program review, failure to communicate appropriately with the faculty, and other concerns.

The faculty also directed the WMU-AAUP leadership to call an emergency chapter meeting next week for further discussion. That meeting has been scheduled for Friday, January 30, at 1:30 p.m. (location TBA).

In other news, the proposal to decrease dues from 0.83 percent of salary to 0.8 percent was approved and will go into effect as soon as the change can be made in the payroll office.

All bargaining-unit members will receive notification about these developments on Monday via email. In the meantime, please share this information with faculty colleagues.

Thanks to all who came out for the January 23 meeting for your attendance and for your thoughtful and wise words. The administration would do well to listen to the voices of the faculty.

We look forward to another lively discussion at the meeting on January 30. Please plan to attend if you can.


Support for CAS Dean Alex Enyedi

Letter of support from Dr. Gwen Athene Tarbox, Department of English:

Dear Colleagues:

Since becoming dean on July 1, 2010, Dr. Alex Enyedi has worked to enhance and improve every aspect of the College of Arts and Sciences at WMU. He oversaw a strategic planning process that has resulted in a consistent improvement in the ability of the college to deliver a world-class education to undergraduate and graduate students.  He has appointed an administrative team of associate deans who have done a fantastic job of streamlining the day-to-day and long term operations of the unit.

The physical spaces that the college inhabits, from the Friedmann Hall undergraduate advising office to the hallways and common areas in Sprau Tower to the public spaces in Brown Hall, have been refurbished and present a community feel that has bolstered the morale of everyone who works in the college.

Most importantly, Dean Enyedi has been a tireless advocate for the importance of the arts and sciences to the university’s mission as a whole, and he has attempted to provide departments with the resources that they need to best serve their students. He has been a transparent, ethical, and thoughtful leader who has listened carefully to the opinions and ideas put forward by every constituent group. His support of research and global engagement has given faculty and staff numerous opportunities to pursue their scholarly projects, and he has encouraged interdisciplinary collaboration with other colleges at WMU. Even during an economic downturn and multiple budget cuts, Dr. Enyedi has protected the academic mission of the college, and he has tried to align staff salaries with cost of living increases.

In our most recent faculty evaluation of the dean’s performance, 91% of board appointed faculty in the college indicated that they wished Dr. Enyedi to continue on as dean.  For this reason, it is particularly surprising to learn that Provost Greene has chosen not to renew Dean Enyedi’s contract.

Dean Enyedi has been a strong supporter of the faculty, staff, and students in the College of Arts and Sciences, and now it is up to these constituents to stand up for him and for the future of our college.  If, like me, you value Dean Enyedi’s ethical, transparent, fair, effective, and engaged leadership, please do all you can to communicate to the administration that you would like an explanation as to why, with his substantial record of effective leadership and management, Dean Enyedi is being asked to step down.

In solidarity,

Dr. Gwen Athene Tarbox
Department of English

Letter to College of Arts and Sciences faculty

From: Lisa Minnick, WMU-AAUP President
To: WMU College of Arts and Sciences faculty

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dear CAS faculty colleagues:

As many of you have heard, Provost Tim Greene has elected not to renew the contract of CAS dean Alex Enyedi when it expires at the end of June.

In a message circulated to CAS department chairs earlier today, which he has asked them to share with faculty and staff (some of you have therefore already seen it), Alex makes clear that it is not his wish to step down as dean and that he is “deeply disappointed by the decision” and has “great concerns on how this will impact the College of Arts and Sciences.”

Many of us in the college surely share these concerns and have additional ones about the unceremonious nature of Alex’s firing, a decision that I believe will be hard for the provost to justify in light of Alex’s outstanding record of service to the college and to this institution.

As some of you will recall, nearly 91 percent of us answered “yes” to the question of whether we wanted Alex to continue as dean in the most recent faculty evaluation of the dean conducted by the WMU-AAUP.

I am writing today to ask those of you who still feel that way to show your support for Alex by attending the public session of the annual meeting of the WMU Board of Trustees tomorrow at 11 a.m. in rooms 157-159 of the Bernhard Center.

A large turnout by CAS faculty will send a powerful message to the board, who may not be getting a clear picture of the quality of Alex’s leadership in the college. Additionally, I am encouraging you to consider signing up to speak on Alex’s behalf – and indeed, on behalf of the future of our college – during the meeting’s public comment period.

Other ways faculty can help to support Alex:

  • Write to the Board of Trustees, President Dunn, and Provost Greene.
  • Publish your letters online and/or send them to the WMU-AAUP to post on the chapter blog.
  • Use social medial to express your support (hashtags #IStandWithAlex and #CASstrong).
  • Attend the WMU-AAUP chapter meeting for further discussion on Friday, January 23 (1:30 p.m. in 105-107 Bernhard Center).

On what is probably a somewhat related note, my usual slot to address the Board of Trustees has been eliminated from their agenda for tomorrow’s meeting. However, I will be present and have signed up to speak during the public comments.

Please join me in standing with our dean.


In solidarity,

Lisa C. Minnick
President, WMU-AAUP
Associate Professor of English
and Gender & Women’s Studies
Western Michigan University
814 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008
(269) 345-0151

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2014-17 contract update

Looking for the WMU-AAUP contract?

January 15, 2015:

The 2014-2017 Agreement is currently undergoing proofing and final preparation for publication. In the meantime, you can view the new language for 2014-17 (now in effect) for all articles that were renegotiated in 2014 at this link.

For the articles that were not renegotiated and will remain the same in the 2014-17 contract, follow this link to the official WMU-AAUP web page (not to be confused with the blog, which is what you’re looking at now) for electronic access to the full text of the WMU-AAUP 2011-14 Agreement.

Electronic and print copies of the 2014-17 contract will be available soon.