We have heard from many faculty colleagues about your uneasiness with the speed and direction of the Academic Programs and Administrative Services Prioritization (APASP) process and wanted to bring you up to speed.
First, we have heard from some people concern that the participation of three UFA-selected faculty members (including UFA President Paul Haber) could compromise our ability to represent faculty who feel they have been
wrongfully terminated or the Collective Bargaining Agreement has not been appropriately used. We have consulted with attorneys and officials at MEA-MFT in Helena and have been assured our involvement in no way affects our ability to fight for the rights of affected faculty. In fact, one senior union official told us we will better represent all faculty through being at the table than relegating our role to only ensuring adherence to the contract.
So in their role as members of the APASP task force, our UFA colleagues report that next week is a critical time for the process. The group has released a draft set of proposals for timelines, operational parameters, metrics and other criteria. None of these documents are final and next week a series of open meetings will garner feedback from different groups on campus. We strongly encourage faculty to review all of the documents and come with specific questions about the process, the framework, the metrics and more.
Meeting will take place:
• 11 a.m. – noon Monday, May 8, UC Theater
• 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, UC Theater
• 4-5 p.m. Wednesday May 10, UC 332-333 (with R. Dickeson and J. Lindig)
• 11 a.m. – noon Thursday, May 11, UC 326-7 (with R. Dickeson and J. Lindig)
The second two meetings will also be attended by Robert Dickeson, author of the book on program prioritization. The UFA has requested significant time with Dickeson and others helping run this process to explain the critical role of our Collective Bargaining Agreement in any process that reduces faculty numbers.
Several members have also raised questions about the amount of work chairs, departments and some faculty are being asked to take on during the summer when most of us are not on contract. We want you to know that we hear you and are taking these concerns seriously. We are working with leadership at the MEA-MFT to investigate whether these requests are in compliance with the contract and will let you all know what we discover asap.
Following the public meetings next week, we will follow up with specific information about next steps and issues the UFA are working with the administration to address.
Lee Banville, UFA Spokesperson