Sunday, April 3, 2016

"The reason unionization is even being discussed is because there is a failure in leadership at the University. There are senior leaders who have squelched virtually every single initiative faculty have brought forward over the past few years"

From the minutes of the University of Minnesota Faculty Consultative Committee, February 4, 2016:

Professor Konstan began by saying he would like to be on the record with his comments, which follow:

1). Faculty need to have a vigorous discussion or debate around the union drive that is currently underway. It would be good to identify a neutral party to host and moderate such a debate. He said he has concerns because he is hearing a fair amount of partially informed and misinformed information being discussed and shared.

2). While he believes unionization is the wrong solution, he strongly supports the motives of the people bringing this effort forward. There has been a near gridlock in the issues and efforts raised by the faculty in the past few years.

3). The reason unionization is even being discussed is because there is a failure in leadership at the University. There are senior leaders—people who report directly to the president--who have squelched virtually every single initiative faculty have brought forward over the past few years, e.g., maternity/paternity, sabbaticals/leaves. This has happened even when initiatives seem to have support from deans and the Provost’s Office.

A positive possible outcome of these efforts would be to have unionization narrowly defeated and then to see  major changes in the upper administration shortly thereafter. There is a need for an awakening.

1 comment:

  1. The Kaler administration has never acted in good faith with the University faculty, and has cultivated an adversarial posture from day one. I recall Kaler, not too long after taking office, publicly bemoaning that "[F]aculty reform will happen one obituary at a time." At least he's been consistent.

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