Message to the Faculty on the Leadership Transition

A message from the officers of the WMU-AAUP to our faculty colleagues:

We have accepted the resignation of Chapter President Matthew Mingus, effective July 31, 2013. We regret that he must step down before the end of his term but understand why he simply cannot miss the opportunity to spend the next year in China, and we wish him the very best as he embarks on this new adventure. Matthew has led us skillfully through the better part of what is unfolding as one of the more challenging years in our Chapter’s recent history, thanks to the state legislature, and we appreciate his service and unwavering commitment to doing what is right on behalf of the faculty.

WMU-AAUP Vice President Lisa Minnick will assume the Chapter presidency on August 1, 2013. Alongside Chapter Secretary Bill Warren, Treasurer Marilyn Kritzman (who will become our new contract administrator in September), Grievance Officer John Saillant, and Contract Administrator Paul Wilson, Lisa will continue to honor the commitment she made to the faculty when she was elected to the vice presidency last fall. Anyone who has had occasion to work with Lisa already knows how strong her commitment is to faculty rights and how hard she is willing to work to preserve and expand them.

We also express our gratitude to Matthew for his willingness last fall to stand up for the faculty when new leadership was desperately needed. He stepped up at a time when no one else would and deserves tremendous thanks for that. The results of the election were unequivocal in expressing the faculty’s belief in a new vision for the WMU-AAUP. And since January, when Matthew assumed the presidency and Lisa the vice presidency, that new vision has translated into a revitalization of our union culture. This work is not finished yet, of course. We are facing many challenges, including our upcoming negotiations, our first in what is now a “right to work” state. But a new standard has been set and we are pledging to you today that we will uphold it.

We will miss Matthew’s wise leadership, his good judgment, and above all, his integrity in the conduct of his service to the Chapter. We feel very fortunate to have had him on our team. And we can understand that there might be concerns about a new leadership transition. But we are confident in our abilities to serve the faculty of Western Michigan University according to the highest standards of professionalism. We have learned much from Matthew, and we understand our charge clearly going forward.

The Chapter will hold an election in September for a new vice president to serve out the remainder of Lisa’s term. In the meantime, as we see Matthew off on his new adventure and send with him our thanks and good wishes, we also assure him – and all of you – that we are ready to take it from here.

Your WMU-AAUP officers

Lisa Minnick, Vice President
Bill Warren, Secretary
Marilyn Kritzman, Treasurer
John Saillant, Grievance Officer
Paul Wilson, Contract Administrator