Solidarity Forever

DAYS WITHOUT A CONTRACT: 387
DAYS UNTIL THE START OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR: 28

Just a couple of things today, then I am off to enjoy the weekend! I will also be out of town next week so, while I intend to keep up my “blog five days a week” commitment, if internet access is spotty I may be unable to post.

When the Southern ran their editorial calling Cheng a good leader and comparing the union members to mental patients on Sunday, it made several people angry. A few of us wrote back. Today’s online edition (and possibly the print one?) has two letters to the editor in response, one from myself and Natasha Zaretsky and one from Dave Johnson of Deo volente.

Also in the Southern today was an article announcing that Maddie Poshard, Glenn Poshard’s granddaughter has decided to go to Xavier instead of SIU. She says she made the decision to go to Xavier so she could “excel on her own.” I also wonder if she might’ve been worried that the first call the Southern would have made when they needed a “student” voice about the SIU situation would have been to her.

An interesting opportunity coming through the National Education Association I wanted to pass on as well. “The NEA Office of Higher Ed and the NEA Minority Community Outreach Department is offering five scholarships to NEA members to attend the joint POD/HBCUFDN conference in Atlanta in October. That is the joint conference of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Faculty Development Network. It’s an exciting time to create and collaborate around issues like faculty development.” More information (as well as the online application) is available on the website.

Lastly, the organizer friend of mine at the University of Illinois-Chicago sent me a copy of the email the university administration put out as an update on Wednesday in response to the ruling that the tenure-track and adjunct/non-tenure track faculty could organize into one union. You can read a PDF version of the email here. The email basically restates the university’s commitment to fighting the unionization because of the combined nature of the union, saying that a combined faculty union “is not conducive to the productive operations and stable bargaining environment of the campus” and citing a Chronicle of Higher Education article as “evidence” of the potential harm. This, combined with the paragraph about getting “numerous messages” really sounds like they’re afraid a combined union would give the faculty too much power and we all know how much administrations like their power plays (we’ve dealt with enough of them here)!

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