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.

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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.

Sincerely,
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.

Sincerely,

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

Meet Your New Officers

Meet Your New Grievance Officer and Contract Administrator for 2013-15

At the Chapter meeting on April 19, 2013, the faculty approved the appointments of two new Chapter officers: John Saillant (Departments of English and History) was named grievance officer, effective April 19, 2013, and Marilyn Kritzman (School of Communication) will assume the office of contract administrator on September 1, 2013, when our current contract administrator, Paul Wilson, will step down to enjoy his well-deserved retirement after an extraordinary tenure of service to the Chapter and to the faculty. Both John’s and Marilyn’s terms will run through August 2015.

John Saillant: Your new Grievance Officer

John Saillant

John is a joint-appointed Professor of English and History who joined the faculty at WMU in 1997. An active teacher and scholar, he specializes in early American history and literature, African American studies, and American religion. He brings to his new position extensive knowledge of the complex political developments surrounding higher education and unions in Michigan as well as experience on numerous governance committees at WMU.

Since assuming office in April, John has impressed all of us (and especially the faculty members he has assisted) with his commitment to academic freedom and shared governance and with his meticulous, analytical approach to problem-solving. This is a guy who does his homework and then some. His preparedness, his smarts, his calm, steady demeanor, and his unshakeable sense of justice are enormous assets to the Chapter and to the faculty. We are lucky to have him on board. Welcome, John!

Marilyn Kritzman: Your new Contract Administrator

Marilyn Kritzman

Marilyn is a tenured Faculty Specialist II in the School of Communication with 30 years of service at WMU. A trained mediator who has also completed more than 200 hours of training in contract and grievance law for labor organizations, Marilyn brings with her an impressive set of skills and long record of service to the WMU-AAUP. She has served as her department’s Association Council representative and as Executive Committee rep for the College of Arts and Sciences (Humanities) in addition to her work on numerous WMU-AAUP committees, several of which she has chaired. She currently serves as Chapter treasurer.

When she assumes the office of contract administrator on September 1, 2013, Marilyn will bring to it an encyclopedic knowledge of the WMU-AAUP Agreement and of state and federal labor law, a razor-sharp intellect, and an unyielding commitment to faculty rights and due process. She’s already working hard this summer to prepare for her new position, and there is no doubt that the faculty will be in very good hands come September. Thank you, Marilyn!

Related: When to call your grievance officer or contract administrator