Both sides are in a cooling off period, and the earliest that faculty could strike is April 3, after the start of spring term. Faculty have never gone on strike at an Oregon university, and it is unclear how the administration would manage to carry through on its promise to keep the university operating and students on track academically if one occurs.
In a statement released Thursday, the administration acknowledged some of those plans have yet to be formulated. “PSU’s seven schools and colleges are developing plans to maintain classes in the event of a strike, and those details will be announced soon,” it said.
Only 35 percent of PSU’s discretionary budget is spent on faculty pay and benefits, while 23 percent is spent on administration and another 23 percent is spent on services and supplies, according to administration figures.
University administrators should cut back in other areas and prioritize spending on faculty to benefit faculty and students, said Mary King, a tenured economics professor and one-time Rhodes Scholar who is president of PSU’s faculty union ,an affiliate of the American Association of University Professors.