New President welcomes colleagues with picnic

That would be new faculty union president Mike Urbancic (Economics):

United Academics Fall Picnic

Time to celebrate! Join us this Friday, September 30 from 3-6pm at Alton Baker Shelter #2. Come out for a day in the park and celebrate the beginning of the new academic year and the salary increases our bargaining team fought to get us. This is our union-wide picnic, so please feel free to bring your colleagues, partners, and children along for some snacks, and some fun.

Greetings, colleagues.

I want to extend my best wishes to you as we begin another academic year. And to our newly arrived colleagues: Welcome to campus! We’re glad to have you with us.

Before the start of each new academic year I wonder if the novelty will wear off and I’ll feel like I’m just going through the motions. But standing in front of hundreds of first-year students  on their first day of college classes remains absolutely electrifying.

One of those students asked on their end-of-class reflection: “Do you actually like teaching?” YES! Despite the occasional shortcomings and challenges of working in higher education, I truly love the core of my job.

I believe many of us cherish much of our work at the University of Oregon. Other aspects, however, we may often find challenging, and even the energy of a new year may not be sufficient to reconnect us to the parts of our jobs that bring us joy and brought us here in the first place. 

Let your UA representatives, stewards, and officers know what we can do to actively help you or your local colleagues focus on what you love the most about your work. 

Likewise, reach out to us if you have the capacity to lend your expertise and support as we labor collectively to implement the provisions of the recently ratified CBA within units and across campus this year.

With new leadership at the top of our institution–as well as a few of its constituent colleges–this year is filled with possibility and promise. Let’s seize the opportunities for exercising our role in shared governance. Let’s strive to build a university that allows us to fully realize our joy and our purpose for being here. 

In solidarity, 

Mike Urbancic
Senior Instructor, Economics
President, United Academics of the University of Oregon
AAUP/AFT Local 3209, AFL-CIO
[email protected]

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2 Responses to New President welcomes colleagues with picnic

  1. Can't celebrate cuts in real pay says:

    Mike is a great guy, but the CBA calls for cuts in real pay. The union and administration negotiated ATB pay increases that lag far behind the inflation rate. That’s not something to celebrate.

    • uomatters says:

      Agreed, and salaries are not going to get better until our administration decides to spend less on themselves, or our faculty decides to go on strike.