Faculty Workload Reporting per Article 42.§6.2

Equity, Transparency, and Work Assignment Notification per Article 42.§6.2

By now, all bargaining-unit faculty should have received Spring 2016 work assignment notifications from their chairs, reporting the workload assignments for all faculty in their respective departments.

We believe that chairs want to honor the contract and do right by their faculty, but faculty in some departments are reporting the following concerns:

  • Department chair is not reporting all faculty work assignments to the full faculty.
  • Department chair is not reporting any faculty work assignments to the faculty.
  • Department chair is not reporting accurate or complete measurements of work assignments.

The rationale for reporting workload assignments to the faculty is to ensure transparency in workload assignments and to ensure the equitable distribution of work assignments. That is why Article 42.§6.2 of the 2014-17 Agreement explicitly calls for department chairs to inform all WMU-AAUP faculty in their respective departments of the workload assignments for all department faculty:

42.§6.2 Work Assignment Notification. As soon as possible prior to the start of fall and spring semester, the department chair will distribute to the department the scheduled workload assignments of all department bargaining unit members, recognizing that these may be subject to change as the academic year progresses.

Workload Reporting Fast Facts:

  • Chairs are required to report the workload assignments of all WMU-AAUP faculty to all WMU-AAUP faculty in their respective departments.
  • These reports must be distributed to the faculty “as soon as possible prior to the start of fall and spring semester.”
  • Chairs may not opt out of providing this information to their department faculty.
  • Reporting each individual faculty member’s assignments to him or her does not meet the contractual requirement for work assignment notification.
  • Research, scholarship, creative activity, service, and other non-teaching work assignments are included in faculty workloads, per Article 42.§5, and therefore must be accounted for in work assignment notification.
  • The intent of work assignment notification is to ensure transparency in workload assignments and equity in workload distribution.

If your chair needs more information about workload reporting, please share this information with him or her. If you need assistance, please call the WMU-AAUP office at 345-0151 or email staff@wmuaaup.net

 visual image of chapter logo "stronger together"

Title IX faculty brown bag lunch Tuesday, Feb. 9

WMU-AAUP Title IX Faculty Brown Bag
Considering WMU’s New Sexual Misconduct Policy

Tuesday, February 9, 2016, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Faculty Dining Room, Bernhard Center

The new national emphasis on Title IX is on the minds of many faculty members as we seek to maintain a learning environment for our students and ourselves that is both safe and intellectually challenging. Join your colleagues as we share our questions, hopes, and concerns about WMU’s new policy and the impact of Title IX on WMU. Some likely questions:
  • Can our campus draw any lessons from recent national cases connected to such policies and to Title IX more generally?
  • How are other campuses responding to the new, more stringent, Title IX requirements?
  • How will WMU balance the critical need to protect students with an appropriate emphasis on respecting due process for all?
  • How involved do WMU faculty feel with respect to the creation and elaboration of these new policies?
  • How can faculty, students, staff, and administrators be partners in working toward the elimination of discrimination in all forms while respecting academic freedom and due process?

 Bring your lunch and your perspective. We will provide the refreshments.


Click to enlarge flier.

Flier for WMU-AAUP TitleIX brown bag lunch on Feb. 9

Dr. Denise Sekaquaptwa to speak on campus diversity Feb. 4

Strategies to Strengthen Diversity at WMU

Dr. Denise Sekaquaptwa
Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

WMU Center for the Humanities, 2500 Knauss Hall
Thursday, February 4, 3:30 p.m.

The Women’s Caucus of the College of Arts and Sciences invites all WMU faculty to a presentation and discussion on advancing a positive climate for expanding diversity at WMU. Dr. Denise Sekaquaptwa, University of Michigan Professor of Psychology, will speak Thursday afternoon and hold open office hours for informal conversations on Friday, February 5, 10-11 a.m. in 2307 Friedmann.

For more information, contact the CAS Women’s Caucus at coas-wcaucus@wmich.edu.
Flier announcing Denise Sekaquaptwa lecture Feb 4




In Case You Missed It: Higher Ed News Roundup

The University of Montana has announced that it will eliminate nearly 200 jobs this year, including 58 full-time faculty positions. According to The Missoulian, the jobs to be eliminated by June 30, 2016, will include “open positions that won’t be filled” as well as layoffs. (“UM will lay off 27 people, reduce 192 full-time positions by end of June,” The Missoulian, January 27, 2016.)

Faculty and students at the four-campus Connecticut State University system rallied last fall to protest contract proposals from the Board of Regents that called for eliminating faculty research support, allowing the transfer of tenured faculty between campuses without faculty consent, and weakening tenure. Negotiations have been stalled since December. (“Professors, students unite to protest Board of Regents contract,” New Britain Herald, October 29, 2015; “Connecticut, College Faculty Members Battle Over Tenure,” Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2015.)

Eastern Michigan University faculty have denounced a “closed search” process for the institution’s next president. With no public presentations or meetings with faculty, staff, or students, finalists will interview exclusively with the Board of Trustees. Similarly, the 2014 presidential search at the University of Michigan was conducted “completely in private,” according to the Detroit Free Press. (“EMU faculty not happy about closed presidential search,” Detroit Free Press, November 7, 2015; “Faculty Senate pulls all representation from Presidential Search Advisory Committee,” Eastern Echo, November 28, 2015.)

University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe and Columbia campus chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned in November under pressure from student activists, including more than 30 members of the football team. Faculty cancelled classes and walked out in support of the students, who were protesting a series of racial incidents on campus. (“U. Missouri president, chancellor resign over handling of racial incidents,” Washington Post, November 9, 2015.)

Some 50 faculty and staff at the City University of New York were arrested and handcuffed at a demonstration in November to protest an administration proposal for salary increases totaling six percent over six years, which demonstrators said would not keep up with inflation. CUNY faculty and staff have been working without a contract or salary increase since 2010. (“Dozens arrested at CUNY faculty, staff protest,” CBS New York, November 4, 2015.)

Faculty, staff, and students at the University of Iowa are protesting the hiring of President J. Bruce Harreld, whom the Board of Regents selected over objections of the faculty. Iowa faculty criticized the search process as well as the selection of Mr. Harreld, who has no experience in university administration. Faculty at eight other Big 10 universities have joined the Iowa faculty in calling on the board to “adhere to the principles of shared university governance and to ethical behavior and transparency.” (“Hundreds protest regents, call for Harreld to resign,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, October 22, 2015; “A controversial search ends with a controversial chief for the U. of Iowa,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 4, 2015.)

Following the ouster last year of University System of North Carolina President Thomas W. Ross, UNC faculty and other observers have raised concerns that Ross may have been removed for political reasons. In October, former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings was named his successor, after a search that faculty members charge was conducted without transparency or shared governance. The UNC board chairman has since resigned. (“Questions linger over how UNC chose Spellings,” Chronicle of Higher Education, October 23, 2015.)

Calvin College in Grand Rapids announced in October that majors in art history, classical languages, theater, Greek, and Latin will be eliminated, along with six faculty positions, following that institution’s recent academic program review. (“Calvin College cuts programs, eliminates 6 faculty spots,” Fox 17 West Michigan, October 16, 2015.)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a budget bill last July that cuts higher education funding by $250 million and significantly weakens tenure, due process, and shared governance rights for faculty at public universities in the state. (“Walker erodes college professor tenure,” Politico, July 12, 2015. For recent developments, see “Critics say UW tenure policy up for adoption won’t protect academic freedom,” Capital Times, January 30, 2016, and “Wisconsin Regents Committee Approves Tenure Changes Without Discussion,” by Hank Reichman, Academe Blog, February 6, 2016.)


Casting Call for Faculty Reading of Union-Themed Play

Casting Call:

Faculty Reading of Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus of the Chicago Bears?
A play adapted by Steve Feffer from the Robert Coover novella

Reading date: Monday, March 21, 2016, at 7 p.m.
President’s Dining Room, Bernhard Center

As part of our 2015-16 celebration of the national AAUP centennial, the WMU-AAUP will present a faculty reading of Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus of the Chicago Bears? on Monday, March 21, at 7 p.m. This union-themed play is adapted from the Robert Coover novella by Dr. Steve Feffer, accomplished playwright and WMU faculty member in English, who will also direct the reading.

Faculty colleagues of all ages are invited to participate in the reading. The time commitment will include one cast meeting prior to the actual public performance on March 21, to be scheduled to accommodate cast members.

Click here to sign up to participate in the reading (or to volunteer to help out behind the scenes).  

The faculty reading of Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus follows the March 2014 faculty reading of Strike Parade, an original play by Feffer, an event that was part of our 2014 contract campaign. Faculty from 13 departments across seven colleges and the University Libraries collaborated on the reading of Strike Parade, which commemorates the 1913-14 Michigan copper miners’ strike.

Click here for photos from the 2014 Strike Parade reading.

Click here to see pictures from the Strike Parade read-through meeting.

The WMU-AAUP is pleased to present this faculty reading of Whatever Happened to Gloomy Gus of the Chicago Bears? in our continuing effort to educate the campus community and the public about labor history, the importance of workers’ rights, the critical role of the arts and humanities in a civilized culture, and the value of collective action to ensure a thriving democratic society.

This event is free and open to the public.

Image at top of page: David Curwen (Dance) and Brian Horvitz (Educational Leadership, Research & Technology) perform in the faculty reading of Strike Parade in 2014.

Below: Steve Feffer (standing) introduces the Strike Parade cast at the 2014 reading. Left to right: Dominic Nicolai (College of Aviation Flight Program), Dan Fleming (Chemical and Paper Engineering), Vincent Desroches (World Languages and Literatures), Cynthia Running-Johnson (World Languages and Literatures), Ola Smith (Accountancy), Mary Peterson (Speech Pathology and Audiology), Karen Blaisure (Family and Consumer Sciences), Sharon Carlson (University Libraries), Nancy Schullery (Business Information Systems), and Jen Brown (Bronson School of Nursing).


Below: Strike Parade cast members. Left to right: Besty Aller (Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering), Cynthia Running-Johnson (World Languages and Literatures), Ola Smith (Accountancy), Mary Peterson (Speech Pathology and Audiology), Karen Blaisure (Family and Consumer Sciences), Sharon Carlson (University Libraries), Nancy Schullery (Business Information Systems), Jen Brown (Bronson School of Nursing), Gwen Tarbox (English), David Curwen (Dance), and Brian Horvitz (Educational Leadership, Research & Technology).


AAUP Response to Oral Arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

The following is reposted from AAUP.com

AAUP Responds to Friedrichs Oral Arguments

Washington, DC — Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case which threatens to reverse decades-old decisions allowing for the collection of fair share fees from public employees. The case has far-reaching consequences for American workers, students and the public. Fair share fees fund a range of activities that improve the quality of education and the wellbeing of students as well as educators.

Howard Bunsis, chair of the AAUP-Collective Bargaining Congress, said, “The Friedrichs case is an attack on workers’ rights to bargain collectively, an attack on workplace democracy, and an attack on the middle class. It is also a call to organize; attempts to divide us will not work.”

Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president, said, “In higher education, strong unions not only promote quality education for students and economic security for educators, they protect academic freedom and shared governance. It is only fair for workers to pay their fair share.”

Risa Lieberwitz, AAUP general counsel, said, “As the AAUP/AFT joint amicus brief explains, collective bargaining, supported by the fair share agency fee system, significantly benefits the educational system.  Agency fee arrangements fairly balance the interests of nonmembers with the state’s and union’s interests in requiring them to pay their fair share of the costs of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement that benefits members and nonmembers alike.”

More information on the case and the amicus brief filed by the AAUP is available here.

The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain the quality in education and academic freedom in this country’s colleges and universities.

Media Contact:
Risa Lieberwitz, AAUP General Counsel, (607) 592-5662, rlieberwitz@aaup.org
Howard Bunsis, AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress Chair, (734) 487-1070, hbunsis@gmail.com
Publication Date:
Monday, January 11, 2016

Click here to read an analysis of today’s oral arguments on SCOTUSblog.

Click here to read the transcript of today’s arguments.

Click here for our previous post on the WMU-AAUP blog re. Friedrichs v. CTA.

A decision on the case is expected in June.

SCOTUSblog preview: New threat to public-sector unions

An analysis posted today on SCOTUSblog previews arguments to be presented next week in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that could have serious implications for public-sector unions:

Next Monday, January 11, when the Supreme Court returns from its holiday recess, it will devote an expanded argument to a case that has made unions which represent government workers deeply fearful for their financial future and their public stature.  A significant blow to their treasuries could come if non-union workers are able to turn broad hints by the Supreme Court into final victory in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.

Read the full SCOTUSblog post here.

This excerpt from the AAUP’s amicus brief explains the questions that the Supreme Court will take up:

The Supreme Court accepted two questions for review: (1) Whether Abood v. Detroit Board of Education should be overruled and public-sector “agency shop” arrangements invalidated under the First Amendment; and (2) whether it violates the First Amendment to require that public employees affirmatively object to subsidizing nonchargeable speech by public-sector unions, rather than requiring that employees affirmatively consent to subsidizing such speech.

The AAUP amicus brief can be read in its entirety here.

A decision on the case is expected in late spring or early summer.