The finalized version of the 2013-2016 contract is now available on the Contract page.
On Friday May 3rd, the BGSU administration finally released a public statement that confirmed the number of terminated faculty and eliminated positions at BGSU.
This choice, its timing, and the claims used to justify it damage BGSU’s educational mission and erode trust with faculty at a moment that could have set the stage for improved partnership between faculty and administration.
Coming minutes after the BGSU Board of Trustees ratified the faculty contract and just hours before commencement ceremonies, the press release from Provost Rodney Rogers claims that “The vast majority of cost-savings from the reductions will be reallocated to fund faculty salary increases agreed to in the contract with the BGSU Faculty Association, allowing the University to move toward its goal of ensuring that our faculty are compensated at competitive market rates.”
The underlying assertion is that BGSU cannot afford to keep all of its current faculty. This is untrue.
Actually, BGSU only spends a small percentage — less than one-fifth of its annual expenditures — on faculty salaries. This is not a necessity: it is a choice. The BGSU Board of Trustees has the authority to make faculty compensation a higher priority in its budgeting decisions. It also has the financial wherewithal. From fiscal year 2006 through fiscal year 2012, BGSU’s operating cash flow averaged $21.9 million, that is, taking in nearly $22 million more than it spends every year.
The administration offers several other reasons for the reduction in faculty that do not hold up. While Roger’s press release notes that “staffing is difficult, “ that is an ongoing administrative challenge, and yet, other universities manage not to reduce their faculty by nearly 9%. The Provost also notes that the 2012 freshman class will be 200 fewer than last year’s class — overall a total reduction in the student body of approximately 1%, and also does not mention administration efforts to increase the number of graduate students. He claims that “student success is the top priority of our University,” and yet the administration is intentionally reducing BGSU’s capacity in one of the central measures of academic quality: student-to-faculty ratio.
The press release is also notable in what it does not address. Although it reports that “forty-three non-tenure track faculty members on one-year contracts did not have their contracts renewed,” it does not indicate that many of these are long-serving faculty, some with more than a decade of employment at BGSU. The press release suggests that “some … may be rehired,” but does not indicate how many, and whether they will be hired as full-time faculty with benefits or as low-paid adjuncts without benefits.
In addition, in January, the administration publicly promised that those being terminated would be notified by March 1st. However, the press release fails to reveal that some faculty were notified of their termination as late as April 29, very likely too late to find employment elsewhere in higher education.
Because this is a serious matter affecting educational quality at BGSU, the BGSU-FA demands accountability and requests clarification on the following questions from President Mazey and Provost Rogers:
What is the actual number of years that each terminated individual was employed as faculty at BGSU?
If any of those 43 terminated non-tenure-track faculty are “re-hired to teach in high demand programs,” will those be full-time positions with health benefits?
Of the 56 faculty not returning presumably of their own choice, how many were non-tenure-track faculty who were strongly encouraged to look elsewhere because the message was telegraphed by their chairs or directors that they would likely not be renewed?
What is the impact on overall class size and course offerings at BGSU Firelands based upon the cuts through retirements and attrition?
What is the impact on overall class size and course offerings on BGSU main campus because of these cuts?
Does the administration plan to continue to reduce the number of full-time faculty since the Provost has talked about achieving a benchmark of TF/TTF-NTTF ratios in line with Miami University, Kent State University, and Ohio University?
How many $100,000+ administrators were non-renewed for Fall 2013? How many highly compensated administrators were added this past year?
BGSU faculty: Demand answers from BGSU administrators.
Support the organization that will continue to fight for shared governance and faculty and student rights, and to combat administrative bloat and arbitrary decision-making at Bowling Green State University.
To join your union and help to enforce our collective bargaining agreement, please contact the BGSU-FA at: email@example.com
On Friday, May 3rd, 2013 the BGSU Board of Trustees voted unanimously (8-0) to ratify the contract with the BGSU-FA, the first-ever faculty contract at BGSU. Faculty had already voted, 97% to 3%, to ratify.
The contract is in effect as of May 1, 2013.
If you are currently a BGSU-FA member, you must sign a dues authorization card for continued membership.
If you would like to join the organization that has represented faculty to negotiate one of the best faculty contracts in Ohio, signing a dues membership card is how to join.
Please join by April 26.
BGSU-FA members voted 98% to 2% last year to set our dues rate at 0.75% of base 9-month salary, and to adjust it down for 12-month faculty (their rate is 0.61% of salary). BGSU full-time faculty who are not BGSU-FA members will be paying a Fair Share fee to cover the cost of representation. That fee will be determined by a CPA based upon costs incurred to represent faculty (collective bargaining, grievances, etc.). Typically, that cost is over 95% of membership fees.
Your national AAUP dues are included in the dues you pay to the BGSU-FA. We will work with the AAUP to reimburse the portion of dues continuing members have already paid as a member of the AAUP.
To join or to continue your membership in the BGSU-FA simply fill out and sign the Dues Authorization Form at this link http://bgsu-fa.org/wp/membership/
If you are mailing your form, please do so no later than this Tuesday, April 23, by mailing it to the following address:
P.O. Box 425
Bowling Green, OH 43402
You may also turn in the form directly to any BGSU-FA officer, or to BGSU-FA membership director Becky Mancuso of the Dept. of History in Williams Hall by Friday, April 26. Becky will be in her office in 20 Williams Hall all day on Friday, April 26 should you want to drop it off then. Should you have any membership questions, please contact Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No one can be forced to join a union. However, unions must represent all members of a collective bargaining unit, whether or not they are members. Those who do not wish to join the BGSU-FA will be assessed a Fair Share fee that only costs them their contribution to the expenses associated with negotiating, implementing and enforcing the contract. That can include outside legal counsel, payment for fact-finding and contract mediation, fees for the arbitration of grievances, and basic administrative costs necessary for the organization, but not political activities. The cost will be re-calculated each year. The Fair Share rate has yet to be determined for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Save the Date!
Come join your colleagues at the BGSU-FA’s end of the year celebration. May 2, 2013 6-9 pm — more details will be forthcoming.
THE VOTE IS IN!
BGSU faculty overwhelmingly approved the proposed collective bargaining agreement between the BGSU-FA and the BGSU administration. The final margin: 97% in favor. The results have been confirmed by the firm of Schwarzwald, McNair & Fusco.
Highlights of the proposed contract are at bgsu-fa.org. A draft of the proposed contract is at bgsu-fa.org/wp/bargaining.
The next step is for the BGSU Board of Trustees to vote on ratification, which will occur at their May 3 meeting. Should a majority of the trustees vote in favor, the contract will be in effect as of May 1.