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Friday, January 16, 2015

Further "Updation"

Be Second Opinion Sure
Linda Rouillard
UT-AAUP Vice-President

On Friday, January 9, 2015 the UT-AAUP and the BOT completed three days of mediation. So far we have discussed workload for both units, definite progress since the BOT had previously refused to consider workload at all.
During these meetings, we also listened to a presentation on UT finances given by Mr. Dave Morlock, accompanied by Mr. Tom Biggs. Dr. Rudy Fichtenbaum, President of the AAUP and Dr. Howard Bunsis, Chair of the AAUP-CBC (Collective Bargaining Congress), traveled to UT to listen to the presentation with us; however, the BOT's team refused to allow them to attend the presentation.
Mr. Morlock's presentation consisted of a budget comparison of FY 2011 through FY 2015, along with a five-year projection. We find it odd that past budget projections were presented in mediation talks which will address faculty compensation, while actual audited financials were not referenced.
Budgets are merely plans for the future. Actual financials tell us what occurred with our money and as such are much better indicators of potential trends. It is more important to know what happened to UT's money than to hear about the Administrative's hopes and dreams, or their nightmare scenarios.
Mr. Morlock's five-year budget comparison highlighted a total five-year decline in enrollment of 12%, a 13% decrease in SSI, a 16% decline in Sales and Service Revenue, along with rising healthcare/benefits costs, for a total five-year income reduction of $60 million, accompanied by a $943,000 increase in expenditures.
On the other hand, in their fact-based second opinion evaluating the audited financials of UT, Dr. Fichtenbaum and Dr. Bunsis have given us a very different assessment of the state of UT's financial health:
In 2014, UT produced a bottom line positive cash flow of $30 million.
In 2013, UT produced a bottom line positive cash flow of $50 million.
The audited financials show the following increases in net position for the past five years:
2014$24 million
2013$9 million
2012$5 million
2011$67.8 million
2010$44 million
Our Ohio Senate Bill 6 ratios, a rating that evaluates levels of assets, debt, reserves, revenues, and expenses, has climbed to a healthy 3.80, putting us very close to that of Ohio State at 3.90.
UTMC has recently rebranded itself as University Health. Billboards invite potential patients to “be second opinion sure,” which is definitely good advice. We took that advice and received the following diagnosis:UT finances are healthy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Happy New Year to one and all from your friends at the Blog.

So we seem to have the same amount of info on both the Presidential Search and Negotiations as we had before our break.  If the BOT follows the "schedule" traced out for us earlier  they will be doing interviews at airport hotels soon.  (We'll presume for a new president.)  When Akron had reached this point their Board saw fit to give to its constituents the list of semifinalists.  I wouldn't hold my breath waiting.  After all what would the Serfs do with such a list except wreak havoc in some undesirable way?

It was my pleasure to see Camelot when it came to Toledo recently.  At the beginning of the show, the King sings, "I wonder what the King is up to tonight."  If you supplant King with Board, it might just give a nice representation of what is going on with the Search.  At the end of the song, the King concludes he's scared.  And that's what the King is doing tonight.  I will leave it to our readers to draw their own conclusions as to what the Board is up to, but given the last several occupants of the castle, scared might be just be a useful adjective.  (Don't you just love transparency?)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UT AAUP "Updation"

Forgive the format change, please--Bloggie

To: Tenure/Tenure-Track Faculty
From: Linda Rouillard, Vice President, UT-AAUP
Date: December 15, 2014
We recently reported that the BOT had filed for fact-finding. Now, they want to return to the table with a mediator. The first meeting with the mediator takes place on Wednesday, December 17.
Here is a summary of recent BOT proposals for tenure/tenure-track compensation and health benefits

BOT proposal in August 2014
BOT proposal (last, final) on September 26, 2014
Back Pay
                a 3% increase in 2014, 1% in 2015, and 1% in 2016 - a total of 5% across-the-board for the next three years
                $2000 applied to base, then 2.7% in year 1, followed by 2% in year 2, and 2% in year 3

                a total of 1.5% for Merit over three years and 1.5% for Faculty Excellence Awards over three years

                no merit pay, but a possible extra 1% in year 2, and 1% in year 3, should there be a 2% increase in enrollment

Health Care
                employee contribution to health care would increase to 20%
                employee contribution to health care would increase to 20%
Summer Teaching
                capped at $2800 per credit hour
                capped at $2800 per credit hour

As we reported in our two members' meetings in early September 2014, the majority of members responding to our survey about the BOT August 2014 proposal indicated that they would not be willing to accept a contract with such provisions.
Faculty hired since 2010 have seen no raises since their arrival. Faculty members who have devoted their careers to UT have had no raises in 4 years because the Jacobs' Administration, with the BOT's blessing, was determined to beat down the union.
On the other hand, the BOT has allowed administrators to richly reward each other. In fiscal year 2013-2014, as the Administration continued to drag out our negotiations, the BOT approved over $3 million in pay increases for approximately 240 individuals. More specifically, the BOT
    gave the VP/General Counsel a $29,040 raise or a 15% increase;
    moved an Executive Associate Dean to an Associate Vice Provost position---at an additional cost of $35,000 or a 23.3% increase;
    promoted an Associate Dean to an Associate Provost with a salary increase of over $41,399 or a 40% increase;
    promoted a VP for Medical Affairs and Associate Dean to Chief Operating & Clinical Officer and Senior Associate Dean - accompanied by a $45,000 raise or a 14% increase;
    promoted the Associate Dean of the College of Medicine to Interim Dean -added cost of $102,770 or a 65% increase.
If UT's budget can handle these kinds of increases, it can afford to recognize the hard work of the faculty.
The $3 million in pay increases to anyone but union faculty would fund close to a 6% raise for our 600 bargaining unit members whose total salaries were approximately $51 million in FY2014.
Our UT-AAUP 2008-2011 contract provided 3% annual raises. No raises in 4 years at 3% of $51 million amounts to $6.12 million. Administrators have had this money long enough; it's time to share.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Reality Intrudes on the Garden Party Administration


To: UT-AAUP Colleagues
From: Linda M. Rouillard, UT-AAUP Vice-President
Date: November 24, 2014
Interim President Naganathan and Interim Provost Barrett have indicated a desire to improve the Administration's relationship with the faculty. Here is a good place to start: a fair contract now for a faculty that has not seen so much as a cost-of-living increase since fall 2010. After prolonged negotiations of over 3 years, the new Administration, under the directive of the BOT, has filed for fact-finding.
We had our first negotiation meetings for a new contract in the spring semester of 2011, though the Administration later interrupted negotiations for several months as it awaited passage of SB5. When that union-busting legislation failed, the Administration returned to the table, only to protract the process even more, quibbling over the cost and process of distributing paper copies of a final contract to faculty, perplexed over a definition of shared governance, and determined that a mere name change to "Professor of Practice" would greatly improve the working condition of Lecturers. The Administration has flatly refused to negotiate workload.
In the summer of 2012, the Administration again left the table for several months as punishment for a UT-AAUP newsletter summarizing a Consumer's Report article on the state of UTMC.
The UT-AAUP presented its proposals on compensation and health benefits in the summer of 2012 by certified mail because the Administration would not meet with us. The Administration did not respond to the issue of compensation and health benefits until spring of 2014.
We have responded to numerous Administration proposals including proposals that would have eliminated merit for entire departments should one faculty member be late submitting book orders or grades, and most recently, a proposal tying merit to a 2% enrollment increase.
The Administration insists on spending money on everything and everyone but students and faculty. It bears repeating that UT-AAUP faculty salaries are consistently less than 10% of the academic budget.
The Administration has advised the UT-AAUP that if they do not like the fact-finder's report, the Board of Trustees will simply impose a contract. So much for negotiating in good faith. Will the Administration support its hard-working professoriate before the BOT, or will it follow the Jacobs' model of denigrating faculty?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Random comments

In viewing responses to my previous post it appears some folks have no real interest in answering questions but rather in venting.  In no particular order responses deal with Jacobs, the BOT, negotiations, our students and whatever qualifies as postmodern something or other.  While I understand the anger at Jacobs I'm not sure anyone is listening anymore.  I believe it is more important that the BOT be held to account for what is taking place now as in the search for a new president and negotiations with the union.  The BOT seemed eager to record our comments in public meetings but seems less than eager to allow us into the discussion.  I find that a little more than just bothersome.  Their attitude toward negotiations also seems to not take into account their role in the finances of this institution for the last eight years.  As to the quality of our students I'm not quite sure where the stats came from but I do know they will vary by major.  I will note that as long as I have been in higher education (35 years) faculty have complained about students.  I think we would be better served to dance with the ones who pay the tuition.  These are the students in our classes let's figure out how to teach them.  That is what I told the Search Committee back when we had those meetings.  If you want to be something, you have to work at it until people from the outside recognize that you're good at it.  I believed we should have been working toward being an excellent undergraduate institution with an ability to help first generation and ill prepared students.  I realize this doesn't give any university president bragging rights at cocktail parties but frankly I don't care.  I am much nearer to the end of my career than the beginning and I'm tired of the jargon spewed forth by some administrations and I am really tired of being treated like the serf who came with the land given to the duke.  The BOT needs to step up and include the faculty in a more forthright manner than it has to this point.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A question here and there

Dear Folks who read the blog:  (I can arrange counselling)

I have some questions that some of you may be able to answer.

1.  First I want to know where negotiations are at this time.  That has been answered in the post below although we don't exactly know who has what position and what exactly led to our needing to go to fact finding.  What have we asked for that they consider too much and what have they asked for that we consider too much.  Since I did not volunteer for this particular job, I'm not trying to place blame, merely get some infor for our 15 or 20 readers.

2.  So, how goes the search for a new big cheese of the milky way?  Are we to the point of actually meeting strange people in airports or are we still deciding what we're looking for.  Along those same lines I would certainly be interested in a response by the BOT to those meetings that they insisted be taped.  Did any of our wonderfully brilliant ideas make the cut?  I have an idea.  Why don't they just go over to our 36 million dollar simulator and create a president?  Is that simulator operational? Can I get it to simulate my doing any work?   Is it making any money?

3.  Is it true we've guaranteed 90 percent occupancy for those nifty new dorms?  New faculty might rent them; if they could afford them.

4.  So, how's our Schoolcraft effort going?  Any students?  Any faculty?  Any income?

5.  Can we blame any of this on global warming?  Look on the bright side, at least we'll all have ocean front property and the Indians won't have to play the Yankees anymore.  I'll bet water polo becomes a big sport.