Monday, April 24, at 2:30 p.m.
Montague House — 814 Oakland Drive
The semester is winding down, but contract negotiations are heating up!
Take a break from your grading, bring your signs, and let’s show our WMU-AAUP bargaining team that we have their backs!
Before the faculty disperses for the summer, we need a strong show of support for our team as they prepare to bargain economic articles in May. A large turnout will send a strong message to the team that the faculty is behind them and alerts the administration that we are ready to take action as needed. All bargaining-unit faculty should plan to attend this important event. We also welcome retired faculty as well as students, staff, alumni, family, friends, and other allies.
Easy parking at Walwood Hall and WMU Lot 10 or 11 (the Little Theater). Please don’t park at the medical school. Their management is not nice about it.
Click to enlarge flier.
On Monday, February 13, our WMU-AAUP bargaining team met with the administration’s team to discuss the start date for 2017 contract negotiations and other practical and logistical topics related to the bargaining process. The two teams had previously met on January 30 to begin these discussions in response to a proposal from the administration to start negotiations earlier in the year than usual. (The first bargaining session in 2014 was on April 17.)
At the February 13 meeting, our WMU-AAUP team and the administration’s team agreed to a start date of Monday, March 13, and established a schedule of meeting dates for the remainder of the spring semester. The teams will meet for bargaining sessions every Monday afternoon from March 13 through final exam week in April (with the exception of Monday, March 6, during spring break). During the spring semester, our team is constrained to this limited schedule by their academic-year teaching, research, and service responsibilities. Beginning in Summer 1, the teams will increase the frequency and length of their meetings.
In addition to setting out their bargaining schedule for spring, the two teams also exchanged lists of contract articles that the respective sides plan to open and agreed on negotiation ground rules.
Our WMU-AAUP team is looking forward to sharing information about the contract articles and ground rules with the faculty at the chapter meeting on Thursday, February 16, and encourages all bargaining-unit members to attend. Guest speaker Howard Bunsis, professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University and chair of the national AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress, will open the meeting with a presentation, “A Question of Priorities: Understanding University Finances,” at 2:30 p.m. in the Fetzer Center. The chapter meeting will immediately follow Howard’s lecture.
In consultation with the WMU-AAUP Executive Committee, our team (Chief Negotiator Cynthia Klekar-Cunningham, Whitney DeCamp, Bruce Ferrin, Jeremy Hierholzer, and Mike Miller) has been working to craft proposals for the articles to be discussed during the 2017 negotiation cycle. They also continue to meet with faculty and review feedback from the faculty survey sent out last week. (The survey will remain open until February 22, so please respond if you haven’t already.) The team is also looking forward to receiving additional input and feedback from the faculty at Thursday’s chapter meeting.
To schedule a meeting in your department with members of the bargaining team, contact your WMU-AAUP Association Council representative, call us at the chapter office at 345-0151, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 NEGOTIATIONS KICKOFF RALLY
Monday, March 13, 2017, 2-3 p.m.
All bargaining-unit faculty, their families, faculty retirees, and allies are invited to Montague House for snacks and solidarity as we send off our 2017 WMU-AAUP negotiation team in style to their first bargaining session. Be there to show your support!
Montague House is located at 814 Oakland Drive. Parking is available at the Little Theater or WMU Lot 10.
Please don’t park at the medical school. They are not nice about it.
Thousands of professors from across the U.S. have signed on to a letter protesting the president’s January 27 Executive Order banning the entry of refugees and immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Iran, and four other predominantly Muslim countries into the United States:
“The people whose status in the United States would be reconsidered are our students, friends, colleagues, and members of our communities,” the professors write. “The implementation will necessarily tear families apart by restricting entry for family members who live outside of the U.S. and limiting the ability to travel for those who reside and work in the U.S. These restrictions would be applied to nearly all individuals from these countries, regardless of their immigration status or any other circumstances. This measure is fatally disruptive to the lives of these immigrants, their families, and the communities of which they form an integral part. It is inhumane, ineffective, and un-American.”
The concerns raised in the letter are of course applicable to WMU faculty and students. Two incidents that occurred this weekend hit particularly close to home:
- A Stanford graduate student originally from Sudan was detained and handcuffed at JFK airport in New York on Saturday. The student, a Harvard graduate, is a legal resident of the United States, where she has lived since 1993.
- Two faculty members at UMass Dartmouth, Dr. Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni and Dr. Arghavan Louhghalam, were detained at Logan airport in Boston on Saturday on their way back from attending an academic conference in France. Professors Tootkaboni and Louhghalam are both originally from Iran and have legal resident status in the United States. A district court ruling in Boston early Sunday ordered their release and blocks similar detentions at Logan.
In November 2016, the WMU-AAUP faculty voted by an overwhelming margin to approve a Resolution in Solidarity with Western Michigan University Students, including the international and immigrant students for whom the Executive Order raises immediately pressing fears. The Resolution was a good first step, but now we must do more to stand in solidarity with these students and with our international and immigrant colleagues.
What can we do to help?
- Talk with students and colleagues. Make sure they know we have their backs, that we will support them, that we will listen to them, and that we will not betray them.
Contact President Dunn and urge him to take a public stand in support of our international and immigrant students and colleagues. Updated January 31: Read President Dunn’s statement here.
- Print out a copy of the Resolution of Solidarity and post it on your office door and/or contact the WMU-AAUP office to request a solidarity card for your office door.
- Sign on to the Academics Against Immigration Executive Order letter and share it with colleagues.
- Join or donate to the American Civil Liberties Union to help them bring legal challenges against discriminatory activities resulting from the Executive Order and follow them on Twitter to stay up to date on their progress.
- Participate in demonstrations against the Executive Order and use social media as another way to make visible your support for and solidarity with students and colleagues.
- Check in frequently with your favorite news sources to keep informed about this developing story. Things are happening fast and changing constantly and are likely to continue to do so.
- For example, a federal judge in New York blocked a key provision of the Executive Order Saturday night. On Sunday morning, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement suggesting that it may not comply with the rulings.
- A White House spokesman now (as of Sunday morning, January 29) “appears to be walking back” the part of the Executive Order that would ban re-entry into the U.S. for permanent legal residents with green cards.
Links to more info about this developing story:
Some Colleges Warning Foreign Students on Travel After Trump’s Immigration Order, by Michael Edison Hayden. ABC News, January 28, 2017.
As protests roiled, professors who were detained at Logan airport waited, by Nestor Ramos. Boston Globe, January 29, 2017.
U.S. colleges rush to help students, scholars affected by Trump’s immigration order, by Valerie Strauss. Washington Post, January 29, 2017.
Sudanese student at Stanford detained, handcuffed at JFK airport, by Queenie Wong. San Jose Mercury News, January 28, 2017.
University of Michigan president states support for international students, by Martin Slagter. MLive, January 29, 2017.
Oklahoma University President David Boren affirms support for students, staff affected by immigration ban in statement, by Greg Brown. Fox 23 News (Tulsa, OK), January 29, 2017.
Colleges brace to shield students from immigration raids, by Alan Gomez. USA Today, January 26, 2017.
Colleges Are Warning Thousands Of Muslim International Students Not To Travel, by Molly Hensley-Clancy. Buzzfeed, January 28, 2017.
Protests erupt at airports around the U.S. following Trump travel ban, Fox News, January 29, 2017.
Protesters Rally as Doctors, Students Blocked From Entering Country After Trump’s Orders, by Eli Rosenberg, Perry Russom and Melissa Buja. NBC Boston, January 28, 2017.
PHOTOS: Thousands Protest At Airports Nationwide Against Trump’s Immigration Order, by James Doubek. NPR, January 29, 2017.
Letter to the faculty from WMU-AAUP President Lisa Minnick
November 18, 2016
Many thanks to all who participated in the vote this week on whether to approve the proposed WMU-AAUP Resolution in Solidarity with Western Michigan University Students.
I am please to report that the faculty has voted overwhelmingly to join the WMU-AAUP Association Council, Executive Committee, and officers in approving the resolution.
Here are the results:
- Yes: 173 (92 percent)
- No: 11 (5.85 percent)
- Abstain: 4 (2.1 percent)
Total number of votes cast: 188
This resolution is only the beginning of the actions we can and must take to make visible our shared commitment to stand with our students, as well as with our faculty and staff colleagues, during these challenging times. From here, we must turn our words into action. As many of you know, a variety of efforts by faculty, staff, students, and community members are already underway, and I encourage you to learn more about their plans and consider joining the organizers in collaboration.
For the WMU-AAUP chapter, approving and sending forth this resolution is a meaningful first step as we embark on the new project that is now before us. I look forward to working together with all of you to maintain and enhance our thriving intellectual community here at Western. This community is of course based on our core values of academic excellence, shared governance, academic freedom, and higher education as a public good, and we are going to need to work actively to protect these values and insist on their primacy in the coming months and years. At the same time, we are also going to need to work a lot harder to emphasize and prioritize the values of diversity, inclusion, respect, and empowerment so that our campus is a place that is safe for all of us — faculty, staff, students, and everyone else — to be who we are.
Many thanks to all of you for your wisdom, courage, and willingness to take a stand for justice.
Lisa C. Minnick
WMU-AAUP Association Council Recommends Faculty Approval of
Resolution in Solidarity with Western Michigan University Students
Letter to the faculty from WMU-AAUP President Lisa Minnick
November 15, 2016
After a lengthy and intense discussion at the WMU-AAUP Association Council meeting last Friday, the AC voted to draft a resolution to express support for WMU students in response to disturbing incidents that have occurred on our own campus and others over the past week.
Once drafted and circulated, the proposed resolution was approved 44 to 1 in a secret-ballot vote (plus one abstention) of the WMU-AAUP Association Council, Executive Committee, and officers, who now recommend full faculty approval. All members of the WMU-AAUP bargaining unit will soon receive an electronic ballot to vote on whether to approve.
As most of you are aware, many of our students have reported feeling unwelcome, vulnerable, and even fearful for their safety and wellbeing or for the safety of classmates. Students of color, LGBT students, international students, and other minority students report feeling particularly vulnerable since the presidential election last week.
At a student-organized meeting on campus on November 10, I listened to what many of these students had to say. Their reports were chilling and disheartening: Some of our LGBT students said they will not be going home for Thanksgiving next week because family members have told them that they are not welcome, or they are afraid to go home because of concerns about increased hostility from relatives who do not accept their sexual orientation or gender identity. International and immigrant students report that they are fearful of attacks and deportation. More recently, some students have reported harassment on the street or on campus and finding notes on their cars with racial or homophobic epithets.
In other contexts, I have had occasion to observe that the intellectual character of a university is determined by its faculty. While that is critically important to our role at Western Michigan University, intellectual character is not the only kind of character that matters, nor is it the only kind that faculty model regularly for our students and community, even though we may not always be fully aware that we are doing so. Our ethical principles and moral convictions are critical to our work as faculty members, and never more so than when they are being tested, as they are now.
Listening to these students at the meeting last Thursday, it occurred to me that they might appreciate a reminder of how seriously we take our charge to do right by them, not only intellectually but also as the mentors and role models we are for them.
I brought this topic to the Association Council last Friday, and the result of that conversation – which was intense, passionate, painful at times, but also inspiring – is the proposed Resolution in Solidarity we present now for your consideration.
We understand that some of our colleagues may not be comfortable with this resolution or its intentions. We hope that you will be willing to engage in a dialogue about how we can best honor our commitments to one another as a faculty as well as to our students at a time when some of them feel that they have reason to be afraid for their lives.
The next meeting of the WMU-AAUP Association Council is Friday, January 20, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. Association Council meetings are open to all bargaining-unit members, and we encourage you to join us on January 20 so that we can all listen to and talk about the diverse perspectives our colleagues bring to these issues. We’ll meet in 157 Bernhard.
As individuals, we don’t need to have felt unsafe ourselves to understand why it is important to make a public statement in solidarity with our students. Even those of us who have never been targeted or felt vulnerable because of the color of our skin, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, national origin, or religious beliefs can of course empathize with those who have. And sadly, many of our faculty colleagues have felt this way themselves, including right here on our own campus. It is important that we stand with these colleagues, and I look forward to our conversations in the near future – and I hope at the January 20 AC meeting – about how we can all do a better job of that.
But today I am asking you to consider the proposed WMU-AAUP Resolution in Solidarity with Western Michigan University Students.
The Association Council and I understand also that there may be concerns about the possibility of causing hurt or distress to students who may not be members of protected groups but who may also fear backlash because of their political beliefs. We share these concerns and have crafted the resolution to try to make clear that we are here for all Western Michigan University students, even while we are also trying to address the immediate safety concerns that disproportionately affect students of color, LGBT students, and international students.
Many thanks in advance for your thoughtful consideration of this important matter.
Lisa C. Minnick
Recommended by the WMU-AAUP Association Council, Executive Committee, and officers, for the faculty’s consideration. WMU-AAUP bargaining-unit members are now voting on this proposal, with votes due electronically by 4 p.m. on Friday, November 18. More information about the proposed resolution is available by clicking here.
Proposed WMU-AAUP Resolution in Solidarity
with Western Michigan University Students
Whereas the Board-appointed faculty of Western Michigan University, represented by our collective-bargaining chapter of the American Association of University Professors, stands for academic excellence, shared governance, higher education as a public good, and academic freedom;
Whereas our core academic mission includes the work of instruction, research, scholarship, creative activity, and professional service;
Whereas this work is foundational to the development of our students as knowledgeable and engaged citizens, informed participants in the democratic process, and possessors of a spirit of tolerance and acceptance;
Whereas the intellectual character of a university is determined by its faculty;
Whereas the faculty therefore also appropriately models character for our students and for the community in other ways, including with respect to our ethical principles and moral convictions;
Whereas these values inform our understanding and acceptance of the immense and humbling responsibility that we carry in the form of our students’ trust in us: that we will treat them with respect, with fairness, with compassion, and with generosity of spirit;
Whereas the faculty takes seriously its role in modeling, teaching, and facilitating critical thinking and respectful discourse;
Whereas we recognize the challenges inherent in the exploration of controversial issues and ideas as well as the intellectual growth that can result from engaging these ideas respectfully and thinking critically about them;
Whereas many Western Michigan University students are now feeling vulnerable, unwelcome, or even fearful for their safety and wellbeing or for the safety and wellbeing of their classmates;
Whereas every student is welcome at Western Michigan University and deserves to feel accepted, included, empowered, and safe here;
Be it resolved that the Board-appointed faculty of Western Michigan University, individually and collectively, stands in solidarity with the students of this university and extends to them our attention, our understanding, our support, our advocacy, and – when and if they need it – our protection, at this singular moment in our nation’s history and always.