2016 WMU-AAUP officer elections


Information about ballots, candidates, and voting procedures

WMU-AAUP logo with "vote" button

Ballots for the 2016 WMU-AAUP presidential, vice presidential, and Executive Committee election will be arriving in the HOME mailboxes of dues-paying bargaining-unit members via U.S. mail beginning Saturday, October 22, 2016, and continuing through the week.

Your individual ballot will include the candidates for chapter president and vice president, along with your college’s candidate(s) for the WMU-AAUP Executive Committee, as well as a proposed change to the chapter’s constitution and bylaws regarding an adjustment to the dates during which officer elections are held.

(Click here for list of candidates.)

If you don’t receive your ballot at your home address by Wednesday, October 26, please contact the WMU-AAUP office at 345-0151 or email staff@wmuaaup.net to make sure your contact information is up to date.

Completed ballots must be received by the auditor’s office in the self-addressed, stamped envelope enclosed with your ballot no later than 12 noon on Monday, November 14.

Thank you for participating in this important process.

2016 Candidates for WMU-AAUP President and Vice President:

President: Dr. Lisa Minnick (English and Gender & Women’s Studies)
Vice President: Dr. Carol Weideman (Human Performance and Health Education)

2016 Executive Committee candidates:

Note: Executive Committee terms are staggered, with the terms of half the seats expiring in even-numbered years and the other half in odd-numbered years.

College of Arts & Sciences — Humanities (2-year term through 12/31/18)

Candidate: Dr. Ashley Atkins (Philosophy)

College of Arts & Sciences — Social Sciences (to complete term ending 12/31/17)

Candidate: Dr. Whitney DeCamp (Sociology)

Haworth College of Business (2-year term through 12/31/18)

Candidate: Dr. Bruce Ferrin (Marketing)

College of Education and Human Development (2-year term through 12/31/18)

Candidate: Dr. Tim Michael, Human Performance and Health Education

College of Health and Human Services (2-year term through 12/31/18)

Candidate: Professor Susan Kay Nelson, APRN-BC (Bronson School of Nursing)

Executive Committee members whose terms continue through 12/31/17:

College of Arts and Sciences – Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Dr. Todd Barkman (Biological Sciences)

College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Dr. Betsy Aller (Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering)

College of Fine Arts

Dr. Andrew Hennlich (Frostic School of Art)

University Libraries

Dr. Sharon Carlson (University Archives)

Center for English Language and Culture for International Students (05/31/17)

Professor Tudy Boldin (CELCIS)

Executive Committee members rotating off 12/31/16:

Serving on the WMU-AAUP Executive Committee involves a significant time commitment and a tremendous amount of responsibility. Our four outgoing members are people of courage, vision, wisdom, passion, and — thankfully and necessarily — humor. We are going to miss working with these amazing colleagues. Please join us in thanking them for their outstanding service. They brought a lot to the table, and their extraordinary efforts will be paying dividends to the chapter and to the faculty for years to come.

College of Arts & Sciences — Humanities: Dr. Kent Baldner (Philosophy)

College of Arts & Sciences — Social Sciences: Dr. Bilinda Straight (Anthropology)

Haworth College of Business: Dr. Dan Farrell (Management)

College of Health and Human Services: Dr. Mary Peterson (Audiology)






“Who Are My Union Reps and What Do They Do?”

Thank you to all faculty who participated in the recent WMU-AAUP faculty survey. Chapter officers, staff, and Executive Committee members have been working on analyzing the raw data collected from over 200 participants, including qualitative analysis of nearly 500 comments, to produce reports for the faculty. We will soon have a lot more to tell you about the survey results, but for now, we want to provide information in response to what emerged as a key question across a number of faculty comments on the survey: “Who are my union reps and what do they do?”

Based on your feedback in response to survey questions about the roles of department and college-level representatives, we sent an email out to the faculty in February 2016 in response to that question, including individualized information for each faculty member about their department and college representatives.

In that message, we included a brief description of these roles, as well as who is serving in them, so that bargaining-unit members will have a clearer picture of how the organization functions to advance faculty interests. We are posting the information here (along with this link to the list of college and department representatives, including contact information) for ease of access and future reference. The information below also fills in more details about the specific responsibilities of chapter officers than was included in the February email message.

Association Council and Executive Committee

The WMU-AAUP is a grassroots operation, governed by chapter members as a whole, with elected departmental representatives forming a body (the Association Council) that oversees policy and practice and whose members help to support faculty in their respective departments.

In addition, a smaller committee composed of elected college-level representatives (the Executive Committee) works with the elected and appointed chapter officers to guide much of the daily business of the WMU-AAUP chapter.

The governance structure of the WMU-AAUP Chapter is one in which chapter members lead the organization through their own participation at chapter meetings, by electing and providing input and feedback to their department- and college-level representatives, and by electing and communicating with chapter officers.

President and Vice President

The WMU-AAUP’s elected officers include the president and vice president, who are elected directly by a vote in which all dues-paying bargaining-unit faculty are entitled to participate. Lisa Minnick (English and Gender & Women’s Studies) is the chapter president, and Brian Tripp (Biological Sciences) is the vice president.

The chapter president’s responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • facilitating the daily operations of the chapter
  • working with the Executive Committee on policy matters
  • working with the Association Council to keep information flowing (in both directions) between the faculty and the chapter leadership
  • supporting and facilitating the work of the other officers and the negotiation team
  • meeting regularly with senior administrators on behalf of the faculty
  • answering contract questions
  • responding to faculty concerns
  • representing the chapter to the news media
  • following developments in higher education, labor law, and collective bargaining
  • serving ex officio on the negotiation team
  • representing the chapter at university and community events

The vice president’s responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • chairing the personnel committee (conducts annual reviews of the office staff)
  • recruiting and training volunteers
  • organizing activities to increase faculty involvement and investment in the chapter
  • representing the chapter on university committees.

Secretary and Treasurer

The chapter secretary  and treasurer are faculty colleagues who come from the ranks of elected members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee nominates candidates for these positions. These nominations must subsequently be approved by the Association Council.

The chapter secretary is Tim Michael (Human Performance and Health Education), and the treasurer is Sharon Carlson (University Libraries).

The chapter secretary’s responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • overseeing the recording, preparation, and submission of minutes for meetings of the officers, Executive Committee, Association Council, and chapter
  • serving on the chapter’s policies and procedures committee
  • handling correspondence
  • serving on the editorial board of the Advocate newsletter.

The chapter treasurer’s responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • chairing the chapter’s budget committee, which develops and recommends the annual budget and dues structure (both of which the treasurer presents to the Executive Committee, Association Council, and chapter as a whole for consideration and approval)
  • working with staff to produce monthly financial reports
  • overseeing the financial well-being of the chapter.

Contract Administrator, Grievance Officer, and Public Relations Officer

In contrast to the secretary and treasurer, the contract administrator, grievance officer, and public relations officer are not required to be members of the Executive Committee to be candidates for those positions and may come from the faculty at large. Candidates interview with the Executive Committee, which sends its nominations to the Association Council for consideration and approval.

The contract administrator is Kate Langan (University Libraries). John Saillant (English) is the grievance officer, and Cathryn Bailey (Gender & Women’s Studies) is the public relations officer.

The contract administrator and grievance officer often work in collaboration, and their responsibilities occasionally overlap. Their duties include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • answering contract questions and helping faculty solve problems
  • identifying potential contract violations
  • keeping the Executive Committee informed about any developing contract issues
  • holding workshops to help educate the faculty in contract matters
  • helping with tenure and promotion appeals
  • analyzing contract language and making recommendations to the negotiation team
  • working as chapter liaisons with administrators in resolving problems, interpreting the contract, and representing faculty interests
  • reviewing and making recommendations on Department Policy Statements (CA)
  • reviewing faculty appointment letters for contract compliance (CA)
  • providing support and representation for faculty in disciplinary cases (CA)
  • providing support for faculty in individual grievance cases (GO)
  • preparing and filing chapter grievances (CO)
  • handling requests for arbitration and unfair labor practices (GO).

Since Michigan’s so-called “right to work” laws were passed, the public relations officer has primarily concentrated on:

  • membership recruitment and retention
  • developing membership campaigns
  • holding lunch table discussions on issues of interest to the faculty
  • engaging new faculty
  • overseeing forthcoming redesign of chapter website
  • working with officers, staff, and the Executive Committee on communication and outreach strategies.

Click here for a complete list of all WMU-AAUP officers, Executive Committee members, and Association Council representatives, along with their contact information.



Kate Langan named interim contract administrator

Interim Contract Administrator Kate LanganPlease join us in welcoming Professor Kathleen Langan (University Libraries) as the interim contract administrator for the WMU-AAUP. A long-serving member of the Association Council, Kate comes to us with extensive understanding of the contract and a strong commitment to serving the faculty and the union. Her interim appointment became effective on July 31, following a unanimous vote of the WMU-AAUP Executive Committee.

The Executive Committee has also voted unanimously to recommend Kate to serve as the chapter’s contract administrator for the two-year term that begins in September 2015 and runs through August 31, 2017. Next month, the Association Council will meet to discuss this recommendation and hold a confirmation vote.

In the meantime, we are delighted to welcome Kate to the leadership team as interim contract administrator, and we appreciate her willingness to take on this challenging work.

Dr. Cathryn Bailey named new WMU-AAUP Public Relations and Communication Officer

Dr. Cathryn BaileyThe WMU-AAUP Association Council has confirmed the appointment of Dr. Cathryn Bailey, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, to the position of Public Relations and Communication Officer for the chapter. She has previously served as Senior Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and as Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program (now Department) at WMU. Her appointment is effective beginning July 2015.

Please join us in welcoming Cathryn!

2014 Officer Election Information – Ballots Due Back By Nov. 7

The candidate forum is today (Friday, October 24) at noon in the Brown and Gold room of the Bernhard Center. Please try to attend and take advantage of this opportunity to meet the candidates, ask questions, and participate in this important step in selecting our chapter leadership.

Ballots are now on their way to the home addresses of dues-paying members via US mail. Your completed ballot must be received by Friday, November 7, so be sure to mail yours back in time. A return envelope will be provided in your ballot package along with the ballots and candidate information sheets. Votes will be collected and tabulated by an accounting firm contracted by the WMU-AAUP office staff.

All board-appointed faculty who are dues-paying members are encouraged to participate in this important election to select your chapter leadership.


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

Letter from WMU-AAUP President Matthew Mingus

Bargaining-Unit Members:

Effective July 31, 2013, I will be resigning as WMU-AAUP Chapter President and will be heading to China for 12 months shortly thereafter. Vice President Lisa Minnick immediately becomes the President per our 2007 Constitution and I become past president on the WMU-AAUP Executive Committee until the end of her term.

When I was elected last fall, I knew my service as president might be shortened if the administration approved my request for a sabbatical leave. I had been told directly not to expect that to happen, yet it was approved and I have been unable to obtain a year deferral from the university where I will be in Chengdu. Nevertheless, the need for change was obvious and the membership showed this clearly in the November 2012 election tallies. I have been proud to be a part of that change and truly appreciate the trust each of you has placed in me.

The bargaining unit is now represented by a solid leadership team, and we have already begun planning for the 2014 negotiations. Lisa Minnick has shown great poise and an amazingly strong work ethic. The current officers are extremely dedicated and are working together well to meet your needs. You could not be in better hands!

In the coming months and years they will work hard to support your needs, but they will also need your support given the current administrative, economic, and political climates. Please remember that WMU-AAUP service is university service per the 2011-2014 Agreement and commit some of your valuable time to protect the rights of your fellow faculty members.


Matthew S. Mingus
President, WMU-AAUP
Professor, Public Affairs and Administration