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Negotiations: Article 18, Institutional Environment

Wright State University Chapter

American Association of University Professors

AAUP-WSU has proposed the article shown in the left column of the table below for inclusion in the first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for non-tenure-eligible (NTE) faculty. Our negotiating team handed it to the administration at the initial negotiating session on March 11, 2013. The administration presented a counterproposal, shown in the right column, on June 3. Reports about the status of this article will be found below the article itself.

See our CBA Negotiations page for a roster of the AAUP-WSU negotiating team, brief reports about each Monday's negotiation session, and an article-by-article summary table with links to detailed information about each individual article that either the administration or AAUP-WSU proposes to include in the CBA.

Article 18

Institutional Environment

18.1 The University recognizes the importance of an adequate working environment and supporting services to promote effective teaching, learning and research. Therefore, within the limits of available space and resources, the University shall make a good faith reasonable effort to provide each Member of the Bargaining Unit the following:

18.1.1 suitable office space and furniture, phone, and network-compatible computer with access to either a network or personal printer;

18.1.2 access to copying services for their reasonable academic copying needs;

18.1.3 office and classroom supplies; and

18.1.4 library resources, computing systems with technical support, classrooms, and laboratories that are responsive to Bargaining Unit Faculty and student needs, in compliance with O.S.H.A. standards, and consistent with standards of quality recognized at the national level.

18.2 The University will make a good faith effort to respond in a timely fashion to reasonable requests from Bargaining Unit Faculty for measures to secure hazardous materials.

18.1 The University recognizes the importance of an adequate working environment and supporting services to promote effective teaching, and learning and research. Therefore, within the limits of available space and resources, the University shall make a good faith reasonable effort to provide each Member of the Bargaining Unit the following:

18.1.1 suitable office space and furniture, phone, and network-compatible computer with access to either a network or personal printer;

18.1.2 access to copying services for their reasonable academic copying needs;

18.1.3 office and classroom supplies; and

18.1.4 library resources, computing systems with technical support, classrooms, and laboratories that are responsive to Bargaining Unit Faculty and student needs, in compliance with O.S.H.A. standards, and consistent with standards of quality recognized at the national level.

18.2 The University will make a good faith effort to respond in a timely fashion to reasonable requests from Bargaining Unit Faculty for measures to secure hazardous materials.

(renumber articles as needed below)

18.4 Professional Development Fund:  The purpose of the Professional Development Fund is to afford each NTE Bargaining Unit Member the opportunity to improve scholarship and teaching in pursuit of the goals of the university. Both the University and the AAUP-WSU recognize the importance of continuous improvement in the skills and accomplishments of the faculty in these areas.

18.4.1 During each fiscal year of this contract each college shall make available a sum of no less than $900 for each NTE Bargaining Unit Member for professional development. Professional development expenses may include but are not limited to: travel, software, hardware, books, journals, and supplies that directly support the teaching or research of the Member. This fund is not to be used for professional memberships unless such are needed in order to obtain publications not otherwise readily available. This fund shall not be used either to supplant routine computer hardware replacements or to obtain software for which the University purchases a site license. It may be used to replace hardware more frequently than the usual scheduled replacement cycle or to upgrade existing hardware.

18.4.2 Unused funds shall be carried forward from one year to the next by the college on behalf of each eligible faculty member. Beginning July 1, 2012 the maximum amount available to any Member pursuant to Sections 18.4.1 through 18.4.5 will be $3,200.

18.4.3 Disbursements from these funds must be approved by the Member’s dean or designee. To request funds, a Member must submit to his or her department chair a written request that includes a statement describing how the requested travel or materials will enhance the Member’s teaching or contribute to scholarly productivity.

18.4.4 The impact or result of professional development funding should be reflected in each Member’s annual faculty activity report.

18.4.5 Deans are not required to disburse faculty development funds to Members with a continuing pattern of poor performance, to Members who have not reasonably demonstrated productive use of past funds, or to Members whose requests do not show a direct relationship between the requested expenditure and their teaching or research that might reasonably lead to grants, publications, or other scholarly productivity.

18.4.6 Nothing in this article precludes Deans and/or Department Chairs from providing additional funds for travel or to support other professional development activities or needs.

18.5 Academic Services Committee. The University and the AAUP-WSU agree that service units which are responsive to faculty needs are essential in order for the core missions of Wright State University in teaching and research to be accomplished. To this end, the parties will maintain an Academic Services Committee to review and make recommendations regarding the services provided to faculty in support of their teaching and research by Computing and Telecommunication Services (CaTS), the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), the Office of the Registrar, and the Physical Plant.

renumber

18.4 Professional Development Fund: The purpose of the Professional Development Fund is to afford each NTE Bargaining Unit Member the opportunity to improve scholarship and teaching in pursuit of the goals of the university. Both the University and the AAUP-WSU recognize the importance of continuous improvement in the skills and accomplishments of the faculty in these areas.

18.4.1 During each fiscal year of this contract each college shall make available a sum of no less than $900 for each NTE Bargaining Unit Member for professional development. Professional development expenses may include but are not limited to: travel, software, hardware, books, journals, and supplies that directly support the teaching or research of the Member. This fund is not to be used for professional memberships unless such are needed in order to obtain publications not otherwise readily available. This fund shall not be used either to supplant routine computer hardware replacements or to obtain software for which the University purchases a site license. It may be used to replace hardware more frequently than the usual scheduled replacement cycle or to upgrade existing hardware.

18.4.2 Unused funds shall be carried forward from one year to the next by the college on behalf of each eligible faculty member. Beginning July 1, 2012 the maximum amount available to any Member pursuant to Sections 18.4.1 through 18.4.5 will be $3,200.

18.4.3 Disbursements from these funds must be approved by the Member’s dean or designee. To request funds, a Member must submit to his or her department chair a written request that includes a statement describing how the requested travel or materials will enhance the Member’s teaching or contribute to scholarly productivity.

18.4.4 The impact or result of professional development funding should be reflected in each Member’s annual faculty activity report.

18.4.5 Deans are not required to disburse faculty development funds to Members with a continuing pattern of poor performance, to Members who have not reasonably demonstrated productive use of past funds, or to Members whose requests do not show a direct relationship between the requested expenditure and their teaching or research that might reasonably lead to grants, publications, or other scholarly productivity.

18.4.6 Nothing in this article precludes Deans and/or Department Chairs from providing additional funds for travel or to support other professional development activities or needs.

18.5 Academic Services Committee. The University and the AAUP-WSU agree that service units which are responsive to faculty needs are essential in order for the core missions of Wright State University in teaching and research to be accomplished. To this end, the parties will maintain an Academic Services Committee to review and make recommendations regarding the services provided to faculty in support of their teaching and research by Computing and Telecommunication Services (CaTS), the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), the Office of the Registrar, and the Physical Plant.

18.5.1 Committee Membership. The Academic Services Committee shall have seven members, each of whom will be a tenured faculty member, and none of whom can be a director of or otherwise directly affiliated with any of the four units named in Section 18.5. In the fall of 2008, AAUP-WSU will appoint a member from the Lake Campus to serve in the 2008-2009 academic year. Thereafter, in the spring of each year, the University and AAUP-WSU will alternate in appointing a member from the Lake Campus to serve on the committee in the upcoming academic year. Of the remaining six members of the committee, three will be appointed by AAUP-WSU and three by the University.

18.5.2 Each fall, the office of the Provost will arrange for an initial meeting of this Committee, at which meeting the committee will elect a chair (or co-chairs if the committee so desires).

18.5.3 Normally, only committee members will attend meetings of the committee. However, the directors of the four units specified in Section 18.5 will normally meet with the committee upon the committee’s request, and likewise the committee will normally agree to a request from one of the directors to hold a meeting with the committee. It is understood that the parties must be reasonable and flexible with respect to scheduling constraints.

18.5.4 Normally, the Committee will make recommendations to the Provost, although it may also make recommendations directly to a director of an individual unit.

18.5.5 When the Provost (or other administrator to whom the Committee issues a recommendation) takes action (or elects not to act) following a written recommendation from a majority of the Committee, the Provost (or other administrator, respectively) shall inform the Committee of such action and communicate the reasons for the decision in writing. The parties recognize that the Provost (or other administrator, respectively) will not communicate reasons for their actions (or decisions not to act) that are based on confidential information.

18.5.1 Committee Membership. The Academic Services Committee shall have seven members, each of whom will be a tenured faculty member, and none of whom can be a director of or otherwise directly affiliated with any of the four units named in Section 18.5. In the fall of 2008, AAUP-WSU will appoint a member from the Lake Campus to serve in the 2008-2009 academic year. Thereafter, in the spring of each year, the University and AAUP-WSU will alternate in appointing a member from the Lake Campus to serve on the committee in the upcoming academic year. Of the remaining six members of the committee, three will be appointed by AAUP-WSU and three by the University.

18.5.2 Each fall, the office of the Provost will arrange for an initial meeting of this Committee, at which meeting the committee will elect a chair (or co-chairs if the committee so desires).

18.5.3 Normally, only committee members will attend meetings of the committee. However, the directors of the four units specified in Section 18.5 will normally meet with the committee upon the committee’s request, and likewise the committee will normally agree to a request from one of the directors to hold a meeting with the committee. It is understood that the parties must be reasonable and flexible with respect to scheduling constraints.

18.5.4 Normally, the Committee will make recommendations to the Provost, although it may also make recommendations directly to a director of an individual unit.

18.5.5 When the Provost (or other administrator to whom the Committee issues a recommendation) takes action (or elects not to act) following a written recommendation from a majority of the Committee, the Provost (or other administrator, respectively) shall inform the Committee of such action and communicate the reasons for the decision in writing. The parties recognize that the Provost (or other administrator, respectively) will not communicate reasons for their actions (or decisions not to act) that are based on confidential information.

Status of Negotiations about the Above Article

August 10, 2013 Update

The parties reached tentative agreement on this article, and they initialed the TA'd article on July 30, 2013.

June 11, 2013

Our negotiating team submitted a counterproposal. In it, we reduce the annual allocation of professional development funds (PDF) from $900 to $800 (see 18.4.1), and we specify that scholarship supported by PDF should be related to teaching (18.4 and 18.4.1).

June 3, 2013

The administration submitted a counterproposal as shown in the right column of the table above.

The administration noted that it had deleted "research" from section 18.1, deleted the requirement from section 18.5.1 that Academic Services Committee members have tenure, and removed entirely professional development funds (PDF, sections 18.4 and subsections).

In explaining the latter point, the administration stated that TET faculty had mostly used these in support of research. But our team immediately replied that this was simply not so. We reminded the administration that in fact many TET faculty had used PDF to purchase iPads, books, and better computers than those that would otherwise be available; and, we stated that it would be rather amazing if the administration took the position that it had no money for computers or professional travel or books for NTE faculty. In response, the administration stated that what it would do and what is is mandated by the CBA to do are not necessarily the same. We stated that the PDF was established to protect faculty from budget cuts by deans. We likewise stated that some NTE faculty need to maintain professional certification, another fully legitimate purpose for PDF. The administration stated that it had removed PDF mainly because it regarded PDF as an economic issue, and it wanted to settle the non-economic issues first. The administration asked whether PDF could legitimately be spent to support research done by an NTE faculty member who was hired for only teaching and service; our team replied that PDF funds might enrich their teaching, and that the supported activity might be on research related to pedagogy.

Our team agreed that we would write a counterproposal.

March 18, 2013

In initial discussions about the AAUP-WSU proposal for this article (see the left column of the table above), our team noted that we had drawn upon current CBA for tenure-eligible and tenured (TET) faculty, deleting language about research laboratories. We agreed that in section 18.4.2, it would be harmless to delete the phrase, "Beginning July 1, 2012".

The administration stated that Professional Development Funds (PDF) available to TET faculty by virtue of the current CBA are used mostly for research (the subtext being that NTE faculty are not expected to do research). We replied that there are many other legitimate uses of PDF -- e.g., attending conferences related to teaching, keeping various professional certifications current, buying software, buying better computer hardware than university funding would otherwise allow. The administration asked if an NTE faculty member could use PDF to support research. We followed our off-the-cuff answer -- yes -- with a question of our own: exactly what do we mean by research? We also stated that we would expect most PDF expenditures by NTE faculty would be in support of teaching.

About section 18.5.1, the administration noted that the language "... a tenured faculty member ..." implies that no NTE faculty could serve on the Academic Services Committee. We replied that changing tenured to full time would be an appropriate fix, and the administration seemed to agree. The parties noted that this would constitute an instance in which the current CBA would have to be changed. (About this, see the March 18 report on our CBA Negotiations page.)


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This page was last modified on Saturday, August 10, 2013. Corrections, comments, and suggestions are most welcome. Contact the webmaster for this page (Jim Vance) at jimvance.wsu@gmail.com, telephone 937-775-2206. To contact the chapter, please see our Staff, Officers, and Committees page.