Coltrane on union negotiations and pay

8/21/2013: It’s long past time for Gottfredson to bring in an adult. Maybe too late, given the hole Rudnick has dug him. But Interim Provost Scott Coltrane is willing to try. Remember that, as CAS Dean, Coltrane supported the Lariviere raises, and CAS set aside money to fund parts 2 and 3 of them – back in 2011:

We all agree that students deserve a meaningful classroom experience and that the UO needs to recruit and hire more tenured and tenure-track faculty. Students, faculty, and our state deserve no less from an AAU research institution. The negotiating teams return to the table on August 29. I’m optimistic that these talks will yield a faculty contract that builds on our areas of agreement and propels us into the next decade as a stronger, more united and more equitable institution.

His entire 8/16/2013 letter:


Message from Interim Provost Scott Coltrane

Since becoming the University of Oregon’s Interim Provost on July 1, I have spent considerable time
immersing myself in the details of our emerging first-time labor agreement between the University and
faculty. I’m impressed with the attention this process has focused on fundamental issues that will
strengthen the University of Oregon and its academic mission.

We are in this together for the long term and I firmly believe that our new labor contract will be a useful tool to ensure equity and fairness, standardize procedures, and set mutual expectations.
For example, it’s notable that language addressing academic freedom will be expanded to specifically
include research as well as teaching. We’d like to think that has always been the practice, but it is useful to reaffirm the general principle. Faculty should have the latitude to delve into controversial issues or explore new and emerging areas in their fields of research without fear of censorship or retaliation. And it is important to reaffirm that faculty shape the content of the curriculum.

President Gottfredson and I also agree with the faculty that shared governance is essential to the wellbeing of the academy. I am certain the contract language will underscore the faculty’s front-line role in this regard. We believe that faculty, working with the President, should have responsibility for setting academic standards, creating new classes, determining what material should be included and how classes are taught. The faculty also assigns grades to students and determines who should be awarded degrees.

Significant discussions have also been held on the topics of sabbaticals, tenure and promotion, and
recognition of the role non-tenure track faculty play on our campus. For example, the University has
proposed paying 100 percent of the salary for faculty who take sabbatical for one quarter; that’s an
increase in support from the current 85 percent pay. The University and the faculty union, United Academics, broadly agree about maintaining the integrity of the tenure review and promotion process and the contract reaffirms procedures to protect that tradition.

Several of the proposals focus on non-tenure track faculty (NTTF). The UO will have a contract that
ensures NTTF are eligible for professional development funds. The contract will also set down policies for regular review and appointment of non-tenure track faculty with appropriate faculty involvement and oversight. Along with better pay, it’s important for NTTF to have stronger job security and potential for promotion.

Much attention throughout this process has been paid to enhancing the resources necessary for
excellence. We all agree that students deserve a meaningful classroom experience and that the UO
needs to recruit and hire more tenured and tenure-track faculty. Students, faculty, and our state
deserve no less from an AAU research institution. The negotiating teams return to the table on August 29. I’m optimistic that these talks will yield a faculty contract that builds on our areas of agreement and propels us into the next decade as a stronger, more united and more equitable institution.

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9 Responses to Coltrane on union negotiations and pay

  1. Anonymous says:

    Instead of uploading grades last minute to Duckweb, email your “grade proposals” last minute to MG. Could be interesting…

    The UA bargaining team could also propose that all instructors for this Fall term send their syllabus proposals to MG. It should speed up negotations and clarify some language…

  2. Publius says:

    Some words from a true visionary:

    “It is important to reaffirm that faculty shape the content of the curriculum.”

    “We believe that faculty, working with the President, should have responsibility for setting academic standards, creating new classes, determining what material should be included and how classes are taught. The faculty also assigns grades to students and determines who should be awarded degrees.”

    I’m sure glad we have leadership like this in Johnson Hall. By the way, I didn’t know that determining how my classes were taught and what grades to assign was a responsibility that I as a faculty member shared with the President.

    Pablum.

  3. Anonymous says:

    dog says

    “We all agree that students deserve a meaningful classroom experience”

    okay then, how about investing in some decent classrooms which then facilitate
    a “meaningful” experience?

    Personally, I think students deserve a meaningful educational experience …

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course, faculty have nothing to do with creating a meaningful classroom, so we don’t need to pay them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Where, in this very bland document, is any mention of the importance of pay for regular faculty? How can we maintain excellence if pay for full professors is 10-20% below market rate for peer institutions? How can market salaries for administrators be justified if UO won’t do the same for the people who are actually performing teaching and research, which, last time I checked, was somewhere there in our core mission? Or has our core mission changed?

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m appreciative, to see Coltrane communicating at all and to think that we have someone competent in the Provost’s position, but I sure hope that we don’t keep hearing about the 85 to 100 sabbatical for one quarter as if it is some huge benefit. It’s great, and might even allow me a one-quarter sabbatical for the first time, but it is not going to help me put my kids through college. Hey, I’d settle for being paid relative to my market wage at the same rate our admins are paid relative to theirs. How about that?

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