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					         FALL 2009



         IN TOUCH ...
President
Steve Abraham
steven.abraham@oswego.edu
VP for Academics
Stephen Rosow
                                President’s Notes
stephen.rosow@oswego.edu        By Steven Abraham
VP for Professionals
Winfield A. Ihlow
winfield.ihlow@oswego.edu
Secretary
                                   As I write my first president's notes column, I have
William O. Canning             conflicting thoughts. On one hand, the time has flown
william.canning@oswego.edu     by. On the other, so much has happened that I can
Treasurer                      not believe that it has been less than one semester
Lawrence Fuller                since my term began. Either way, this has been an ex-
lawrence.fuller@oswego.edu
                               citing time to be UUP's Oswego chapter president. As
Grievance Chair Academic
Bruce E. Altschuler
                               I'm sure all of you are aware, a great deal has been
bruce.altschuler@oswego.edu    happening at the state level and much has been hap-
Grievance Chair Professional   pening on campus as well.
William O. Canning
william.canning@oswego.edu        At the state level, the most predominant issue is the
Part-time Concerns             budget crisis. According to the figures put out by the central office in Albany,
Lori Nash                      there was a mid-year budget reduction of $148 million in 2008-2009. The initial
lori.nash@oswego.edu
                               2009-10 state budget cut $172 million from SUNY and then there was another
Membership Development
Maureen Curtin                 mid-year reduction of $90 million in 2009. Overall, the total budget reduction to
maureen.curtin@oswego.edu      date stands at $410 million, making state funding to SUNY at its lowest level
          Delegates            since the mid-1990s. UUP is doing what it can in response to the budget cuts,
        Academic Reps
        Steve Abraham
                               but we are limited in what we can do. As I'm sure you know, the budget is de-
        Bruce Altschuler       termined by both the governor and the state legislature. Therefore, UUP has no
           Brian Betz          power to influence that budget other than through lobbying and demonstra-
        Don Masterson
           Lori Nash
                               tions. The union has protested vigorously all cuts to SUNY. UUP has held rallies in
        Lawrence Fuller        a number of different locations around the state, made pleas to the governor
        Stephen Rosow          and legislators, placed commercials in the media (radio and television), taken
         Chuck Spector
                               out newspaper advertisements, encouraged members to send faxes, etc.
       Professional Reps
        William Canning
       Anthony Henderson
                                                                                     Continued on page. . . 7
         Winfield Ihlow
          Sara Blaney
                                                    TABLE OF CONTENTS
           Alternates
      Maureen Curtin (A)
    Georgina Whittingham (A)
                                      President’s Notes……………………..…………………………….. Pg 1
      Donald Vanouse (A)
      William Schleinitz (P)
                                      Dealing with Workload Creep…………......……………………. Pg 2
      Hamal Strayhorn (P)             Thinking the University in a Time of Crisis….…….…………… ... Pg 3
                                      Our Students, Our Brothers and Sisters……….………………... Pg 4
Labor Relations Specialist
Heather Sponenburg                    Some Sobering Facts about the Real World…………………. Pg 5
hsponenb@nysutmail.org                Fall 2009 IDAP…………………………………………………………. Pg 6
Chapter Assistant                     Speak up for Public Higher Education……………….…...……. Pg 1 1
Beth Canale
uup@oswego.edu
                                                                                          In Touch . . .Page 2

Dealing with Workload Creep
By Bruce Altschuler, Grievance Chair for Academic



                        Are SUNY’s budget cuts put-    know. In a recent case, a faculty member did
                     ting pressure on you to work      teach one course more than her normal load, but
                     more without additional com-      the college refused to pay her for the extra course,
                     pensation? What remedies          claiming it was an independent study. When her
                     are there for this workload       own efforts failed to remedy the situation, she
                     creep? Because workload is a      asked UUP for help and we were able to obtain
                     mandatory subject of collec-      the additional pay for her since the course, despite
                     tive bargaining, the college      a small enrollment, had been listed by the registrar
                     cannot unilaterally increase      as a standard class rather than an independent
                     someone’s workload without        study.
either negotiating with the union or paying addi-
tional compensation.                                         What about class size? Unfortunately, that is not
                                                       a mandatory subject of collective bargaining. The
   Unfortunately, determining the appropriate          reason is that a larger class does not necessarily
 workload for faculty is complicated by the fact       mean a greater workload. A small class could be
 that our contract does not specifically state what    writing intensive and require much more grading
 the appropriate teaching load is. As a result, that   work than a large lecture section with computer
 teaching load can vary from one campus to an-         graded exams. Larger classes could include the aid
 other and on some campuses even from one de-          of teaching assistants. However, to the extent that
 partment to another. What defines the appropri-       big sections do increase workload, the union can
 ate workload is past practice which is a long-term    get involved. For example, the practice on our cam-
 and widespread understanding between the ad-          pus has been to grant one course released time
 ministration and faculty. At Oswego, the teaching     when classes exceed 90 students. Recently, a faculty
 load is twelve hours or its equivalent. That can      member who had previously been granted six hours
 mean four three credit courses but it can also        released time for teaching two large group classes
 mean fewer teaching hours plus released time for      was told that she would have to teach a third
 such activities as department chair, advisement       course. The union intervened and the size of one of
 coordinator or a research project. Any one teach-     her sections was reduced by about 75%.
 ing more than twelve hours or the equivalent
 should be compensated with extra service pay. If
 you are not, please contact the union and let us
                                                                                 Continued on page … 8




                                                                                  UUP

                                                                                 Picnic

                                                                                    at

                                                                               Fallbrook

                                                                                  2009
                                                                                                 In Touch . . .Page 3

Thinking the University in a Time of Crisis
By Stephen J. Rosow, Vice-President for Academics



                          Is the current fiscal crisis an     Pataki declared that students in New York State
                       excuse to further privatize pub-       only needed an 8th grade education!). How do we
                       lic higher education and to            keep the crisis from furthering this spurious logic and
                       erode the public mission of the        from turning SUNY from an engine for equality to an
                       university? Are we witnessing          engine of inequality?
                       the final institutionalization of         Third, with regard to faculty. The erosion of full-
                       the university as corporation,         time faculty, which was already hurting instruction
                       and the final death knell of the       before the current fiscal crisis, is gathering speed;
                       university as a self-governing         further reductions are here and more are on the
 community of scholars? Of course, the trend toward           horizon (retrenchments are underway on several
 the university as corporation and the reduction of           SUNY campuses, and scores of seasoned and
 knowledge to a commodity and education to cre-               highly qualified contingent faculty have lost their
 ating the cogs in the productivity machine is noth-          jobs). The problem is, of course, that faculty cost
 ing new. Thorsten Veblen wrote about it in the be-           money! Education is labor intensive. How do we
 ginning of the 20th century.                                 prevent the fiscal crisis from becoming an excuse
   There is reason to be concerned.                           to treat faculty as liabilities?
    First, with regard to students. The current crisis fur-      The future. President Stanley has said on several
 ther encourages students and their parents to think          occasions that Oswego cannot do business as
 of higher education as a commodity: students are             usual during the current fiscal crisis. Furthermore,
 consumers buying a product. That “product” just              we cannot go back to the (relatively) plush days of
 happens to be knowledge! In trade talks, higher              the past. In her view, we must start to plan “to do
 education is already treated as a “service industry,”        more with less, and differently. Faculty need to be
 a language that in Europe is making higher educa-            participants – we should be the main participants! –
 tion an object of standardization and regulation.            in charting this future.
 Many predict this is coming to the United States as             One reason for concern is the idea about the
 well. After all, standardized programs across differ-        future of SUNY that some have. Plans have been
 ent campuses and even across systems (across                 proposed for SUNY to allow campuses to fend for
 countries in Europe) are cheaper to deliver and              themselves, with little or no state or legislative over-
 easier to manage.                                            sight. This is likely to result in a few elite campuses, a
    Second, the public mission of public education.           group of mediocre campuses struggling to main-
 The New York State constitution guarantees a qual-           tain quality education, and some that will likely
 ity higher education to all qualified citizens of the        tread water and may even close altogether. My
 state. However, increased tuition along with more            point is not that these plans are imminent – the silli-
 costly loans and reduced aid to students hampers             est and worst of these have been rejected. Rather,
 access to highly qualified poor and working class            my point is that the fiscal crisis makes these all the
 students. At what point will legislators and others          more appealing to administrators, even ones with
 come to accept that our community simply cannot              good intensions and progressive visions for their
 afford a quality public higher education to all quali-       campuses who are under so much pressure simply
 fied state residents, and rationalize this by determin-      to keep their institutions going under the current
 ing that all people “really” need is a high school           conditions.
 education or vocational training (remember, former
 governor                                                                                Continued on page … 10
                                                                                             In Touch . . .Page 4

Our Students, Our Brothers and Sisters
By Don Masterson, Delegate for Academics & Editor



                         For me, the best moment at       increases. A few faculty and staff stood with these
                      this fall’s Delegate Assembly       students, but none wore their UUP letters. More re-
                      was provided by the UUP             cently, a well organized and active student sus-
                      Scholarship      winners.     Of    tainability group held open meetings focused on
                      course, these young men and         issues such as recycling, a composting plan, and
                      women are well informed and         the broader concerns of environmental and so-
                      quite articulate, and, yes, it      cial justice. I missed these sessions, as did all but a
                      was gratifying to know that         handful of my colleagues. Add to these lost oppor-
 some of SUNY’s best students are in touch with the       tunities others those afforded in the classroom and
 principles and history of unionism. This being said, a   in various campus forums. Who would question
 sobering thought has since intruded. Just how se-        that work, over work, under work, and, as a conse-
 lect are these few? How many of our top stu-             quence, unions have an overriding social, eco-
 dents, not to mention our typical ones, are in any       nomic and moral issue in America for generations.
 way conversant with union matters?                       Certainly, these concerns deserve more “air time”
 Judging by my experience, not many. The ques-            in our classes and in campus programming. Here
 tion then arises, do we, as members of a union           are some suggestions. I welcome others.
 uniquely positioned to carry our message to young          Given the threat of additional budget cuts and
 people, feel a responsibility do so? Understand my       perhaps another tuition increase, wouldn’t en-
 meaning. I don’t suggest we proselytize, nor             hanced solidarity with student activists advance
 should we alter our course content or change stu-        our mutual agenda while teaching both constitu-
 dent programming in any major way. We can,               encies about intergenerational cooperation. Of
 however, encourage student awareness of and              course, such important work would require many
 perhaps even activism in union sanctioned activi-        more of us to suit up (in our UUP gear) and show
 ties. This can be accomplished through the power         up at student sponsored protests. As for the issues
 of our example and by reconsidering some of our          of environmental/social justice, our engagement
 methodologies in the classroom and in our ap-            with young people is nothing less than a moral im-
 proaches to campus-wide activities.                      perative. They are assuming leadership in healing
   Not long ago, a number of SUNY Oswego stu-             our wounded world. We should be willing, even
 dents demonstrated against Governor Patterson’s          eager, to follow.
 appropriation of funds generated by tuition                                       Continued on page … 10



                                                                                      UUP

                                                                                     Picnic

                                                                                        at

                                                                                   Fallbrook

                                                                                     2009
                                                                                         In Touch . . .Page 5

Some Sobering Facts about the Real World
By Chuck Spector, Delegate for Academics



                       I’ve never liked that term,      didn’t give pay raises to its faculty members. Stan-
                    Real World. It makes it sound       ford, Pitt, Purdue……all have salary freezes in
                    like we at Oswego live in a         effect. Hell, Stanford cut $100,000,000 from its
                    place far removed from the city     budget and stopped construction projects. In a
                    streets. But, as I sit in my very   recent conversation with a colleague at a private
                    comfortable office reading the      college in Oneonta I learned how lucky they are
                    on-line newspapers (one of the      to have travel money. That travel money came at
                    reasons that the papers are in      the cost of losing the college’s 9% retirement con-
 serious financial condition) it appears that UNION-    tribution. Now that is a big hit!
 IZED faculty members at our school are much bet-          What about our little campus community? The
 ter off than counterparts at other institutions.       construction still goes on. Tuition, a major concern
   Now, everything at Oswego isn’t “hunky-dory”.        for everyone, is still relatively untouched. Our sala-
 We’ve seen faculty members retire and their lines      ries and benefits are pretty much intact. Though,
 haven’t been renewed. At best, they may be re-         some of the local doctors may be dropping out of
 placed by adjunct instructors who contribute           the Empire Plan. Who has been hurt? Well, I’m
 greatly but don’t generally help with such tasks as    not advocating taking up a collection, but if the
 advisement and committee work. Travel money,           truth be told, our “management confidential” ad-
 never an item that we bragged about, has been          ministrators have been sacrificed by the gover-
 cut severely. To say that class enrollment was         nor’s office. Their salaries are frozen solid. Histori-
 VERY HEALTHY would still be an understatement.         cally, unions like to point their collective fingers at
 Have you talked to some of your colleagues at          the “fat cats” in the power tower, but so far they
 non-unionized institutions lately? I have, and the     have been asked (required) to make a sacrifice in
 facts are that things appear a lot tougher in the      our behalf. I’ll take Oz. You can have the Real
 “Real World”.                                          World.
  Here are some facts that I have uncovered.
 One very prestigious medical school in Ann Arbor




                                                                                    UUP

                                                                                 Tenure &

                                                                                Promotion

                                                                                Workshop

                                                                                    2009



          Fred Floss, UUP Statewide VP for Academics
                                                                                          In Touch . . .Page 6

Fall 2009 Individual Development Awards Program
By Winfield Ihlow, VP for Professionals



                      The current round of Individual     the applicant. The committee tries to give some
                   Development Awards Program             support to as many applicants as possible.
                   (IDAP) funds were given out by a         All members of the college community repre-
                   Joint Labor-Management Com-            sented by UUP are encouraged to apply for IDAP
                   mittee (JLMC).        There was        funds in support of a project or activity.
                   $12,000 available for awards, half
                   of the total available for the         The following members of the community were
 whole academic year. There were 47 applicants            awarded funds this fall:
 for IDAP funds and all applicants were awarded a         Leigh Bacher, Lisa Seppi, Kristen Eichhorn, Taejin
 share of the available funds.                            Jung, Barbara Streets, Fehmi Damkaci, Christine
    The Individual Development Awards Program is          Hirsch, Ana Djukic-Cocks, Beatriz Salced-Strumpf,
 the largest of all State/UUP JLMC programs. Pro-         Patricia Clark, Helen Knowles, Faith Maina, Katia
 portional allocations are assigned to each cam-          Voit-Southard, Kari Campbell, M Neelika Jayawar-
 pus based on unit member population. Each                dane, Harrson Yang, Kestutis Bendinskas, Carolina
 Campus Professional Development Committee                Ilie, Gabor Hardy, Otilia Cortez, Barry Friedman,
 determines award decisions and deadline dates.           Steven Granelli, Julieve Jubin, Diana Boyer, Kelly
 Our committee has decided to split the process           Covert, Donald Masterson, Tania Ramalho, John
 into two parts, the first part to cover activities and   Lalande, Marcia Burrell, Bruce Altschuler, Sarfraz
 project taking place from last mid-summer (August        Mian, Barbara Beyerbach, Karen Sime, Donna
 1, 2009) to the end of the calendar year                 Matteson, Craig DeLancey, Fred Vegeant, Karen
 (December 31, 2009), and the second part to              Wolford, Gregory Fuller, Lawrence Fuller, Mary
 cover activities and project taking place from           Stuck, Ann-Lorraine Edwards, Albert Blissert,
 late-winter (January 1, 2010) to the middle of next      Roberta Schnorr, Allen Bradberry, Ampalavanar
 summer (July 31, 2010). Each applicant is encour-        Nanthakumar, Douglas Pippin, Robert Lloyd.
 aged to look for other sources of support to help          Thank you all for your participation.
 fund the project or activity. Often, the IDAP
 award does not cover the entire financial need of




                                                                                     UUP

                                                                              End of Semester

                                                                                  Reception

                                                                                     at the

                                                                             Forum Restaurant

                                                                                     2009
                                                                                        In Touch . . .Page 7

President’s Notes ………..continued from pg 1


   On campus, the budget has been a major con-          200 attending.
cern as well. Total state support reductions in 2008-      Before finishing, I would like to express my ap-
09 to SUNY-Oswego totaled $2.37 million and we          preciation to two people who do a great deal
have felt the impact of these cuts. Actions taken       for UUP members at Oswego but whose names
to close the budget gap included suspending sab-        are rarely mentioned. Heather Sponenburg is
baticals during the 2009-2010 academic year, limit-     our labor relations specialist. While I and the
ing faculty travel and restricting professional staff   other members of the executive Board on cam-
travel to trips deemed essential in nature. In addi-    pus resolve many issues with the administration, if
tion, several searches were deferred or suspended.      matters become extremely serious and go be-
On the other hand, as Chuck Spector points out in       yond our capabilities, Heather assists us. She has
his article, as bad as things have been, they could     been extremely successful at resolving a number
be worse. Many states are facing worse crises           of issues satisfactorily and enabled us to prevent
than New York. From what I have heard at state-         having to file formal grievances about them.
wide union meetings, other campuses have had a          Heather has been enormously valuable to a
more difficult time than Oswego. In fact the ad-        number of bargaining unit members. Beth Ca-
ministration announced recently that sabbaticals        nale is our administrative assistant and her organ-
will be restored for 2010-2011.                         izational skills have been essential to the effec-
   UUP has addressed other issues on campus as          tive operation of our local office. Beth, along
well. I am happy to report that we have success-        with Devin Kerr’s Web Design II class, is finalizing
fully dealt with work load issues, extra service com-   the new UUP Oswego Chapter website which will
pensation issues and mileage reimbursement issues       greatly enhance communications among our
for faculty members who teach at the Metro Cen-         members.
ter. We continue to focus on questions surrounding        Let me end where I began, talking about the
leave policies and procedures affecting both fac-       budget. You can do your part in fighting budget
ulty and professional staff. Additionally, we are       cuts to SUNY. Please contact your legislators and
pleased to have been able to change the status          do what you can to ensure that they fight
of a “casual” employee to one that fits squarely        budget cuts to SUNY. When you receive mes-
within our bargaining unit.                             sages about sending faxes to legislators, please
     On an upbeat note, I am pleased to report          take the time to do so. It will help all of us.
that we had another successful fall picnic with




                                                                              UUP

                                                                         End of Semester

                                                                            Reception

                                                                              at the

                                                                         Forum Restaurant

                                                                              2009
                                                                                           In Touch . . .Page 8

Dealing with Workload Creep ………..continued from pg 2


   If you have been granted released time and the         committees, add more students to our classes or
college asks you to teach another course while            take on independent study students to replace
continuing the released time activity, they must ei-      cancelled courses. Especially for untenured fac-
ther offer to pay you extra service or remove the         ulty, these “offers” are difficult to decline. We all
activity from your responsibilities. If you are getting   want to help our students and colleagues. We
three credits for serving as advisement coordinator       may fear that not accepting such assignments will
and the college adds another course, you can sim-         hamper us when we are up for retention or promo-
ply resign as advisement coordinator. Recently, the       tion. If you believe that you are being asked to do
college suggested that they were considering              more than is customary and do not feel free to de-
changes in the released time for department               cline such assignments, contact the union. There is
chairs. When the union was consulted we had no            strength in numbers – it’s not for nothing that un-
problem with increasing the released time for over-       ions stress solidarity.
worked chairs but pointed out that no chair should          If someone is teaching more than past practice
receive less released time unless he or she also had      requires, we typically discuss the issue through infor-
a reduced workload (such as a significantly smaller       mal channels such as labor-management meet-
department).                                              ings. If those fail to resolve the matter, the state-
   What about other activities for which we do not        wide UUP president may choose to file an improper
 receive released time? We are required to hold           practice (IP) which can eventually be decided by
 office hours, engage in research and participate in      an impartial arbitrator. Because there is a time limit
 college service. Often there are pressures on us to      for filing an IP, it is important that you bring work-
 do more that are hard to resist. With fewer faculty      load problems to the union’s attention as soon as
 members, we may be asked to serve on more                possible. We will do whatever we can to help.




                                                                                             UUP

                                                                                     End of Semester

                                                                                         Reception

                                                                                            at the

                                                                                    Forum Restaurant

                                                                                            2009
                                                                                          In Touch . . .Page 9


                                          Editorial Policy

   The opinions expressed in In Touch are those of       which they are received, space availability and
the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the posi-    timeliness of the letter’s topic. Letters submitted by
tion or policies of the United University Professions.   first-time writers may also receive preference.
                                                         Names of writers will be withheld upon request.
  In Touch encourages letters to the editor about        Inappropriate pieces will not be published.
union, campus and university issues, politics and
other membership concerns. Letters should be e-            In Touch reserves the right to edit all letters. We
mailed and include the writer’s name, telephone          cannot guarantee that all letters will be published.
number and e-mail address.                               The final decision is at the discretion of the editor.
                                                         Please send your letters to uup@oswego.edu .
    Limit the length, when possible, to 500 words. In
the competition for space, shorter letters most of-      The Editorial Policy was liberally borrowed from
ten will receive preference. Letters will be pub-        SUNY Potsdam’s Within The Ranks.
lished based on the following criteria: the order in




                                               Attention ! ! !
             The UUP Oswego Chapter Website will be up and running by the end December.
             There will be an email notification announcing our new website link very soon ! ! !




                                                                               UUP

                                                                        End of Semester

                                                                            Reception

                                                                               at the

                                                                       Forum Restaurant

                                                                               2009



            Oswego Jazz Project
                                                                                            In Touch . . .Page 10

Thinking of the University in a Time of Crisis ………..continued from pg 3


  To the administrative and corporate discourse of           tion. We need a language that is politically astute
the university, faculty governance looks like “worker        and that allows for strong faculty governance. This
control”. Democracy appears to managerial struc-             needs to be an ongoing conversation. In the next
tures as an intrusion: faculty governance is to be tol-      newsletter, I will suggest some ways we might begin
erated (it has to be to legitimate managerialism) but        to think again about the university as something
only so long as it doesn’t really do anything impor-         other than a late capitalist corporation. I also urge
tant, especially if it will cost money! In the language      others of you to join the conversation.
of the corporate university, the idea of the university
as a self-governing community of scholars has no
place. This is why we have to change the conversa-


Our Students, Our Brothers and Sisters ………..continued from pg 4


   Our primary workplace, the classroom, offers              writers, artists, scientists have also added genuine
many possibilities for enriching student awareness of        value to the campus conversation. Wouldn’t it
the history and value of organized labor. Tom Joad           add even more to this dialogue if someone like
in “The Grapes of Wrath” leaves his family at the            Richard Trumka, mineworker, leader of a grueling
end of the novel to organize. The philosopher,               but successful strike, foe of apartheid, and new
Simone Weil, labored shoulder to shoulder with               President of the AFl-CIO, offered his knowledge
workers in a French factory so as to better under-           and experience in a college forum.
stand and value their experience. Less well known               What I have left unsaid is perhaps most impor-
but also interesting is physicist Paul K. Davis, literally   tant. If we are to motivate, even inspire our stu-
a rocket scientist, committed to unionism as a nec-          dents toward a more knowledgeable and welcom-
essary element in the work of scientists and engi-           ing attitude toward unions, we must share these
neers.                                                       beliefs ourselves and put them into practice. At this
    Each year, campuses allot thousands of dollars           moment, the circumstances of SUNY require our
 for speakers intended to inform and edify students.         collective attention in a number of venues. Let us
 The social critic Michael Dyson spoke this fall. He         undertake this work together with our brothers, our
 was worth every penny. In past years, numerous              sisters, our students.




                                                                        Best Wishes
                                                                            For a
                                                                      Happy Holiday
                                                                         from UUP
In Touch . . .Page 11

				
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