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Sunday, August 16, 2009

A "Furlough" is a "Lockout"

If you conduct a word search of our UT AAUP contract you will not find this word “furlough”. However, President Jacobs is recommending to the BOT to invoke contract language (ARTICLE 19.0- FINANCIAL EMERGENCY PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES) that will result in an employee furlough program that, by definition “asks or forces employees to take days off without pay.” Full-time professors are among the employees at UT that may or may not be “asked” or “forced” to take several days off without pay.

The President of Bowling Green University, just a few days ago, announced her own employee furlough program and specified that it would not include full-time professors. By recognizing that employees who are full-time professors are not only able to work but essential and valued employees central to the educational mission of state public higher education in Ohio, she is avoiding short-changing tuition-paying students who require and expect the best available teaching and advising all during the academic year.

It is regrettable that our own President Jacobs during the past three years has consistently disrespected the full-time professoriate on this UT campus, and particularly alienated and demoralized A&S College tenured professors, whose mission it is to teach, conduct research and provide service ON CAMPUS. Classrooms and offices are essential to the educational mission of the professoriate. Most A&S tenure-track and tenured professors are passionate about their careers and commit 60 to 80 hours a week to teaching, research and service. This has been documented in the long history of ARPA reporting.

Forcing full-time professors to stay off campus during a furlough accomplishes the same ends as a “lockout,” where able employees are not allowed to work and can be arrested for doing so. If and when this bizarre and probably illegal furlough/lockout is implemented on this campus, I will persist in my sacred mission and not allow myself to be criminalized for continuing to perform my teaching, research and service duties, in the classroom, and in my office. I will not be “locked out” of my spiritual domain by confused and desperate administrators and their and faculty-hostile consultants (Zemsky et al), nor betray the trust of my students.


Ted said...

Diogenes, you haven't done your homework. The President of Bowling Green has excluded full-time faculty from her furlough plan because the faculty at BG are in the midst of trying to decide if they want to unionize or not. Imagine how the vote would go if she forced able-bodied faculty to accept a furlough at this time! UT already has its AAUP bargaining unit to protect its members from administrative shenanigans -- although you wouldn't know it from their total and unexplainable silence on this farcical furlough issue. Just today the AAUP national office announced that AAUP faculties from coast to coast should not to accept employee furloughs unless their universities could provide the hard data necessary to prove financial exigency.

Wade said...

Actually, some faculty have been furloughed: those on 12-month contracts, such as those in the University Libraries.