This is a tremendously stressful time at the University of Cincinnati. On top of the traumas the entire country is facing, most Faculty are working longer hours, transitioning to remote learning, and doing their best to protect their students’ learning experience. In this environment, there has been speculation—and occasionally misinformation—about the financial status of UC as well as possible remedies to address the current situation.
I encourage us all to take a deep breath. We have enough to worry about just in concluding this turbulent semester. To offer some peace of mind during these stressful weeks, here are some processes that are occurring and some action steps that Faculty can undertake in the near term.
- AAUP-UC and Faculty Senate are in steady communication with each other. In the spirit of shared governance, we are also in communication with the Administration to better understand and address the financial impact of Covid-19 on UC.
- Any change in wages or any aspect of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) would have to be negotiated by the AAUP-UC and the Administration. To date neither has proposed re-opening the CBA. Further, a financial exigency has not been declared at UC and no retrenchment has been proposed. > Click here for the latest Works article explaining the protections of the CBA and Article 28, Retrenchment Under Conditions of Financial Exigency.
- The Faculty Senate and the Administration are establishing a working group to study UC’s financial situation. Data from this group will be foundational to all future conversations. Speculation on remedies without this data is premature and counter-productive.
- UC Blue Ash, A&S, and UC Clermont have established joint Faculty/Administration committees to address the issue at the college level. This is the best practice for ensuring shared governance. All colleges are strongly encouraged to do the same.
- All Faculty are encouraged to review their unit’s Workload document. Every unit has a Workload document; although some may not have been updated recently. The unit’s Workload document outlines the expectations and requirements for Faculty effort. Understanding these requirements at the outset will aid your unit moving forward.
- Any changes to the Workload document, or to RPT criteria, must be approved by the Faculty in the Academic Unit. Nothing that has occurred changes this.
- If you would like an AAUP-UC representative to discuss the situation with Faculty in your college or explain further any of the information contained in this email, please contact us.
- Finally, if you have not already done so, please join AAUP-UC today. You are receiving this communication as a member of the Bargaining Unit; however, being a member of the Bargaining Unit does not mean you are a member of AAUP-UC. The protections provided by the AAUP-UC and the CBA have become strikingly clear in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis. It is only through robust and engaged membership by a majority of UC Faculty that the AAUP-UC will be able to succeed in limiting the financial impacts of the crisis. >Click HERE to join or email the office to determine if you are a member.
I appreciate your support during this difficult time. Together, we will emerge a stronger AAUP-UC and a stronger institution of higher education.
Connie Kendall Theado