Category Archives: University of Akron

Note From Acting Akron-AAUP President Regarding Today’s Reorganization Announcement

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past week, I have had the opportunity to meet with Provost Rex Ramsier and Interim President John Green to discuss many of the issues you have raised at the listening sessions and at one-on-one meetings over the past few weeks.

Although there are still many challenges that we are facing, I am encouraged by Interim President Green’s response to our immediate concerns. As you may have already read, the Interim President has committed to extend the timeline for consideration of the reorganization proposals. He also agreed in our meeting to listen and consider additions to the process to allow for additional data collection and analysis.

I also had the opportunity to raise your concerns about Akron-AAUP representation and the overall faculty representation on the Steering Committee for the development of the Three-Year Action Plan. I have assurances that the Akron-AAUP will have representation on the committee beginning next week. We will share information on that with you as soon as it is publicly announced.

My pledge is to continue listening to your ideas and concerns as we move forward and to continue to serve as your representative to the administration.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our survey, attend listening sessions and reach out individually. A lot of work lies ahead, and I feel privileged to serve you as we navigate it together.

With solidarity,

Julie A Cajigas
Acting President, Akron-AAUP

Notification and Request for Information: Umbrella Grievance Filed Regarding Program Terminations 

Dear faculty colleagues,

The Akron-AAUP has been inundated with concerned emails, calls and visits in the weeks since cuts to 80 of our academic programs were announced. We have also met with units and colleges, and held listening sessions with the faculty.

Because it was simply unfeasible to obtain information about all situations and all adverse effects of the cuts in such a short period of time, the Akron-AAUP has filed an “umbrella” grievance regarding the University of Akron’s termination of academic programs. We have also filed one additional program-specific grievance based on faculty requests, and have submitted a request to the University to engage in effects based bargaining. You can view all three at the links below.

Grievance 2018-5: Program Termination Grievance (Umbrella)

Grievance 2018-6: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Demand to Bargain over Effects of Academic Program Changes

What does an umbrella grievance do?

The umbrella grievance extends our window of time to learn about factual and/or procedural errors that were used to justify program cuts. The timely file of an informal resolution on this grievance, on September 24, 2018, ensures that we continue to be able to address the adverse effects of program cuts on bargaining unit faculty members past the original grievance file deadline. We can now navigate the recent decisions and consider your individually-based program needs.

What does this filing mean for you?

The filing of this informal resolution gives your Akron-AAUP chapter limited additional time to hear from you, our constituents, and learn about the intricacies of program-specific grievances that may arise after the 20-day filing period. So far, we have heard from concerned faculty members across campus, both as individuals and as groups.

Who can we include in the umbrella grievance?

Under this umbrella grievance, we are only able to file program-specific grievances based on procedural errors and factual mistakes that resulted in program cuts. If you have evidence of these types of errors that were used as UA’s justification for cutting your program, please contact us immediately so we can determine if your case can be addressed by this grievance.

NOTE: this process is time sensitive. To report factual or procedural errors used in UA’s justification for a program cut, please immediately contact the grievance committee, Russ Davis (russ.davis@akronaaup.org), Executive Director and Grievance Administrator, and Mark Rittenour (mark.rittenour@akronaaup.org), Grievance Officer and Contract Administrator.

Thank you,

The Akron-AAUP Grievance Committee

Your Grievance Team Working Hard For You (2017-2018 Grievance Report)

The Akron-AAUP Grievance Committee Drs. Russ Davis (Executive Director and Grievance Administrator) and Val Pipps (Contract Administrator and Grievance Officer) are ending the 2017-2018 year having responded to more than 40 individual faculty and/or groups for consultation or direct intervention/support.

The Grievance Committee has worked daily throughout the semester to support, advocate for, and help improve the working environment and rights of bargaining unit faculty (BUF).

The committee has worked on formal grievance-related labor/management issues such as:

  • One formal individual-level grievance related to tenure/promotion
  • One formal individual-level grievance related to disciplinary actions taken by the administration
  • One college-grievance related to the appointment of dean
  • One department-level related grievance related to the appointment of chair

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2018 Spring Chapter Meeting: Thursday, April 26

Our spring chapter meeting is being held Thursday, April 26, from 3:00-5:00 pm, in Student Union 312. Snacks will be served at 3, the meeting proper will begin at 3:15 pm.

Please note that this is a members only event, but membership forms will be available at the door for those who wish to join the chapter (or non-members can click the button below this message to join).

The results of the chapter officer and for chapter delegates to the National AAUP Annual Meeting and Collective Bargaining Congress meetings will be announced.

Additionally, we will have two special guests, Sara Kilpatrick, Executive Director of the Ohio Conference – AAUP, will speak on “Political Engagement to Protect and Advance Faculty Unions & Public Higher Education,” and Ben Ratliffe, National AAUP Department of Organizing & Services – Ohio Organizer, will give a talk, “Issue Campaigns and Building Power.

The agenda for the Spring 2018 Chapter Meeting is available HERE.
The minutes from the Fall 2017 Chapter Meeting are available for review HERE.

Results of the Spring 2016 “Faculty Opinion on the State of the University” Survey

To help address continuing concerns about the actions and future plans of the administration at The University of Akron, the Akron-AAUP has conducted a third campus-wide survey of the faculty, following up on surveys conducted in the spring of 2015 and the fall of 2015. The results of the survey, shared here and also with the community, offer a gauge of faculty sentiment on a wide range of important issues facing the University.

Along with the majority of the faculty, the leadership of the Akron-AAUP believes the situation at the university is worsening, and we encourage the Board of Trustees to take the steps necessary to rectify the situation. There is much work to be done to repair the damage done during the past year and a half—we must begin this work as soon as we possibly can. Only by including faculty in the process will we be successful.

Thank you to all who participated in the survey.

Brief summary of the survey results:

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UA Board of Trustees – Akron-AAUP Finalize Collective Bargaining Agreement

The University of Akron Board of Trustees and The University of Akron Chapter of The American Association of University Professors have concluded the process of negotiating a new labor agreement by affirmative ratification votes of both parties.  The membership of the Akron-AAUP voted in favor of ratification in an electronic vote that ended Wednesday, March 23.  The University’s Board of Trustees approved the agreement at a special Board meeting held today.

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Strike Authorization Vote Begins March 7, 2016

Members Only Strike Authorization Vote Begins March 7 – Join Today to Vote

After over a year in negotiations for our fourth collective bargaining agreement, negotiations between the Akron-AAUP and the University administration have reached an impasse. Accordingly, the Akron-AAUP will be conducting a strike authorization vote from Monday, March 7 to Friday March 11. Only members may vote to authorize a strike.

It is imperative that we all understand what is really at stake in these negotiations. Let’s be absolutely clear about why we’re even considering a strike:  the administration’s priorities are out of line with the educational mission of the university. Did you know that a 1% raise for all of the bargaining unit faculty amounts to around $520,000 (not including benefits), or approximately 1/10 of one percent of the total university budget? It’s clear that the goals of this administration are not compatible with the quality educational experience that our students deserve.

Compensation and Benefits – How far apart are Akron-AAUP and the university administration?

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The FACTS about the Administration’s Spending Priorities

Akron-AAUP had Dr Rudy Fichtenbaum, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Wright State University, conduct an analysis of The University of Akron’s finances. Here are some facts from that analysis we thought you ought to know.

Despite tuition increases, instructional spending per student is flat.

From 2002 to 2015, although tuition per student more than doubled, the university has not spent that money on student instruction. Over the same period, the total spent on instructional salaries remained nearly flat (not adjusted for inflation).

The administration’s priorities are not in line with the educational mission of the institution.  

Instructional Salaries V Tuition at UA Continue reading

Event Announcement: Emergency All-Chapter Meetings

Tuesday, March 1, noon – 2 p.m. in SU 312
Wednesday, March 2, noon – 2 p.m. in SU 312

Join us for an emergency all-member chapter meeting to discuss the status of negotiations and the potential for a strike.  These meetings will be held in the Student Union, in room 312. Please choose whichever date works best for your schedule.

We will be discussing the upcoming strike authorization vote, the current status of negotiations, and will answer questions about the need for a strike. These are members-only events, but membership forms will be available at the door. There has never been a better time to become a member of Akron-AAUP than now. The more members who are standing behind us, the better chance we have to secure a fair contract and avoid a strike.

There are a number of extremely important dates you need to be aware of. Here is a tentative timeline that shows the negotiating and fact-finding events occurring over the next few weeks:

March 1 & 2: These two emergency all-member meetings are an opportunity for chapter members to meet with chapter leadership and our negotiating team to discuss the status of negotiations, our imminent strike authorization vote and to discuss next steps. It is critical that members attend in order to be fully informed of the issues.

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