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Welcoming new organizers

Today we welcomed Robert Henninger, left, and Jonathan Dubow as APSCUF organizers. For the next six weeks, they will reach out to adjunct faculty and coaches at Shippensburg and West Chester universities.

Read Dr. Kenneth M. Mash’s remarks to the Board of Governors – Jan. 16, 2019

APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash’s comments as prepared:

Chairwoman Shapira, governors, Chancellor Greenstein, university presidents, and guests.

My name is Dr. Kenneth Mash, and I am the president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties. APSCUF represents the faculty and coaches at our great universities.

I wanted to comment briefly on two items this morning. The first is the system redesign, and the second the Board of Governors Policy 1983-13-A, which you will discuss tomorrow.

With regard to the system redesign, I want to thank Chancellor Greenstein for the broad discussion that has already taken place with regard to the document. There is a lot in there, and as a conceptual document, there is a lot to be excited about. We do see in the document the potential for many new opportunities for students that can arise out of sharing system where universities work interdependently – to use the terminology of the report.

There are other items that we believe will require greater discussion. Many of those issues revolve around implementation, but some of those also revolve around policy. One example comes from the student-success portion. Even at first glance, the notion that one of the only three indicators of student success is salary by graduates, raises questions about the what type of success the System will be prioritizing in the future and how that may impact the future of the student body and the academic programs we offer at our universities.

This is but one example: As I said, there is a lot in the document. Having said that, however, I am confident that there will be ongoing conversations about the many different aspects of the redesign.  Our hope is that these conversation will take place as a matter of progress not as a dilatory tactic. We are confident that they will take place because that has been the tone Chancellor Greenstein has set.

With regard to Policy 1983-13-A, the faculty continue to have some concern about when alternates will participate on search committees for university presidents. We would like those alternates to participate on the committees so that they are up-to-speed – much like alternate jurors – should they be called on to serve. Our understanding is that currently the alternates are only involved should they need to step in – even if that is at the middle or the end of the process.

Further, while we are on the topic of the policy, we hope that the Board will at some time assess the use of the consulting firms for the process. We have often questioned what is gained by the use of these firms, particularly since the same names seem to reappear at our universities. If nothing else, we would hope that the Board would clarify the governors’ expectations of these firms and that a mechanism be designed to assess their overall value given the high pricetags of many of these consultants.

Thank you for your attention.

 

In solidarity with AAUP-Wright State University faculty

APSCUF stands in solidarity with AAUP-Wright State University faculty, who, in response to a unilaterally imposed contract, have set a strike date of Jan. 22. Below is APSCUF President Dr. Kenneth M. Mash’s letter to the Wright State University president.

What can APSCUF members do? Click here to read AAUP-WSU President Marty Kich’s message to APSCUF members. You can express your support on social media, tagging and posting to AAUP-WSU accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can take a photo that includes a sign expressing support and send it to martinkich@gmail.com. You also can sign and share AAUP-WSU’s petition by clicking here. 

* * *

Jan. 16, 2018

Dear Dr. Schrader:

On behalf of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), which represents the more than 5,500 faculty and coaches employed at the 14 universities comprising Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, I write to express our full support for the faculty at Wright State University and to request that you honor the AAUP chapter’s demand for the university administration to bargain in good faith.

APSCUF understands that the budget situation at Wright State is largely the result of poor management. Regardless, your faculty still provided a menu of concessions that demonstrates their commitment to the university and their students. Ignoring those concessions and imposing a contract that punishes the faculty does not serve your students well. The conditions under which faculty work are the conditions under which students learn, and the imposition of a contract does nothing but weaken those conditions.

Please do not underestimate the will of the faculty and their unity. In 2016, the State System of Higher Education doubted our solidarity, and the result was a successful strike. We are certain that the students at Wright State will support their faculty the same way our students supported us. But your faculty do not want to go on strike. They want your administration to rescind your administration’s unilateral action and to bargain fairly. As Marty Kich (AAUP-WSU president) has said, your faculty “have a deep interest in the long-term viability” of Wright State University.

For the sake of the university reputation, current and future students, and your future relations with your faculty, we strongly urge you to rethink your decision and to bargain fairly with your faculty.

Sincerely,

Dr. Kenneth M. Mash
APSCUF president

Member of first coaches’ negotiation team remembered for loyalty, fairness


Rocky Rees, right, received APSCUF’s Distinguished Service Award in 2009. Dr. Steve Hicks, left, was APSCUF president at the time. File photo

Tributes to the late Shippensburg Coach William “Rocky” Rees have detailed his accomplishments on the field and his influence on football players. Rees, who passed away in December, was part of APSCUF’s team, too, and his union sisters and brothers reminisced about his importance to them and the organization.

Past Coach Executive Leader Keith White met Rees as APSCUF was welcoming coaches into the union.

“We both had strong opinions on how to structure the union in its early stages,” White said. “Our two ideas were complete opposite of each other, and neither of us wanted to give. The meeting, when we met each other for the first time in person, was the day before Shippensburg played at Millersville in football. Rocky came to my office at Millersville the day before the game, and four hours later we had a starting point to begin the infancy steps toward an agreement that all coaches in all sports could support.”

William “Rocky” Rees, top photo, right, appears in a 2001 APSCUF newsletter for his work on the first coaches’ collective bargaining agreement.

White, who later coached at Kutztown University, praised Rees’ tireless work on behalf of all State System coaches.

“He was fair and brought good perspective to the difficult task of writing from scratch a new collective bargaining agreement,” White said. “That agreement is still the basis for what the PA State System abides by today. All (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) coaches in the past, present, and future owe Rocky for his selflessness into forming the APSCUF coaches (bargaining unit).”

Betty Wesner, retired Kutztown University coach, worked with Rees on the first coaches’ negotiation team.

“The biggest thing is his loyalty,” she said of Rees. “He was very loyal to his fellow colleagues — and I’m not only talking about Shippensburg people — but throughout the whole State System.”

And he treated all sports equally, she said.

APSCUF colleagues remembered Rees’ more whimsical characteristics, too.

“He just loved his ice cream … ” Wesner said. “When we were out to dinner after negotiating all day, that was his big thing in life.”

Don Mayer, retired Shippensburg University professor, described the Shippensburg coach’s love of motorcycles.

Mayer had experience negotiating the faculty collective bargaining agreement, so he served with Rees on the first coaches’ negotiation team. His relationship with his Shippensburg colleague grew through the experience, during which Mayer spent a lot of time in Rees’ office, he recalled.

“We all had a great deal of respect for Rocky,” Mayer said. “What impressed me was how much he cared about his fellow coaches — in particular the younger, assistant coaches. He really wanted to make sure the jobs were protected as much as they could … We were able to go to the table and say the coaches were in charge of their own destiny.”

Mayer spoke of Rees’ kindness and camaraderie.

“Once you befriend a coach, you have a friend for life,” he said.

Deirdre Kane, who retired from coaching at West Chester University, was one such friend. She, too, worked with Rees on the first coaches’ contract.

“After each contract, I tried to bow out gracefully, but some football coach, sort of a big guy I recall, bullied me into to staying for one more contract!” she shared from an email she wrote to Rees a week before he passed.

She shared the lessons learned from Rees, too.

“You taught me that taking care of our fellow coaches was more important than any athletic contest,” Kane wrote. “No game was as important as our colleagues being treated with respect and paid a fair wage. You made me look outside of the selfish microcosm that we, as coaches, often times allowed to swallow us. Realizing this gave me a sense of purpose even more so than coaching did. I also tried to pass this on to my players. I feel they were better for that knowledge, I know I was.”

—Kathryn Morton
APSCUF communications director

 

An important message about your dental and vision benefits

Photo/Pexels.com

All faculty who receive dental and vision benefits through the Pennsylvania Faculty (PAFAC) Health and Welfare Fund: Please take the time to read the Health and Welfare fund’s notice in its entirety hereFund administration changes Wednesday, Jan. 16.

APSCUF members are welcome to contact Bim Arthun, member-benefits specialist, via email at barthun@apscuf.org, should you have questions about the change. If you are not yet a member of APSCUF and would like to join, please click here for information about joining.

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