APSCUF-KU President Dr. Amanda Morris’ comments as prepared for the July 13, 2017, Board of Governors meeting:
Good morning. My name is Dr. Amanda Morris and I am an associate professor at Kutztown University and I serve as the KU APSCUF chapter president.
Over the past year, I’ve had meetings with some of you, with our own administrators at KU, with legislators and the one thing we have in common is that we all say that we need to collaborate and cooperate more. But we cannot collaborate and cooperate if you shut us out of the decision-making process. So I am here today to request equal representation for faculty on any task force or committee that is created to develop an action plan in response to these consultants’ recommendations.
We expect an equal seat at the table so that faculty can help fix our system. We want to participate in developing solutions with you. And there is precedent for this. I want to draw your attention to two things in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
First of all, in the beginning of current CBA there are several side letters, many of which establish what are called “joint labor-management committees.” This is all I’m asking for. A joint labor management committee that will figure out how to respond to and incorporate the recommendations the consultants have provided.
Secondly, the “purpose” section of our contract says, “APSCUF and the State System of Higher Education, desiring to cooperate each with the other in mutual respect and harmony” – and I think we can all agree, there hasn’t been a whole lot of harmony in the past year, and there hasn’t been a whole lot of mutual respect.
This is an opportunity, right now, this moment. Show us that you want to work with us. If you want faculty buy-in to whatever it is you think you’re planning to do, you’re going to need faculty to be part of the process. Work with us in mutual respect. Collaborate and cooperate with us in some semblance of harmony.
APSCUF represents the faculty. We are the ones who work most closely with students in the classroom, through advising, even one on one mentorships that extend far beyond their graduation. We want what is best for them.
I want to draw your attention to a line in Article 4 of the CBA. Article 4 is Duties and Responsibilities of Faculty Members and the last line in section B says “faculty members have the responsibility to perform other tasks characteristic of the academic profession, and to attempt honestly and in good conscience to preserve and defend the goals of the Universities including the right to advocate change.”
Members of the Board, chairwoman Shapira, Chancellor, we as faculty have a duty and a responsibility to be involved right now with this issue, with this report. And the Board of Governors and the State System have a duty and a responsibility to include us as equal partners at the decision-making table. Bring us in. Let us help you decide the best course of action in response to the NCHEMS report and maybe, just maybe, we might achieve some harmony and mutual respect.