That’s probably because I have nothing to say on the subject besides being appalled. Nevertheless, it’s hard to argue that some people who have tackled this subject have written some really interesting stuff.
For example, I think this is the best post I’ve seen on Rate Your Students in about a year of reading that blog. It compares faculty to postal workers, and while that might not seem like a good comparison at first glance I think it actually works. I’m not going to excerpt it here, because I want you to go read the whole thing right now. [Don’t worry. I’ll still be here when you get back.]
That post also has the advantage of allowing me to change the subject to better terrain for this blog. This is from the link about Florida Atlantic in that RYS post:
A budget-cutting reorganization plan at Florida Atlantic University has resulted in layoff notices to at least five tenured professors, causing anger among union officials at the institution….
The five professors who received layoff notices last month have not been publicly identified, but all are in the university’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, and all have been teaching at the university for more than 15 years, said Sharmila Vishwasrao, an associate professor and the union’s chief negotiator. All five were told to clear out their offices by August.
That story about Florida Atlantic is like nine months old now, so I did some Googling on the subject. This is from the United Faculty of Florida, the union there:
Readers of this blog are well aware of the FAU administration’s extravagant degree of foot-dragging and refusal to agree to a preliminary meeting for arbitration of the Chapter Grievance relating to the reorganization and subsequent layoff of five tenured faculty members in the College of Engineering. Article 20.3(b) of the CBA empowers UFF to “file a grievance in a dispute over a provision of this Agreement which confers rights upon the UFF.”
An Unfair Labor Practice charge has been processed by UFF-FAU after repeated pleas to the FAU administration to comply with the CBA on the above. Contrary to Provost Diane Alperin’s interpretive remarks, FAU does not have the right to assess the arbitrability of a grievance it is a party to. On January 28 this ULP was referred to Florida Education Association attorneys. We anticipate this action will receive a hearing before the Public Employees Relations Commission in April.
On second thought, maybe postal workers isn’t the right analogy. It sounds like FAU is treating tenured faculty like Walmart workers, busting the union just because they know that nobody will hold them accountable. After all, can the public employee appeals process be any faster than the NLRB is these days?
Considering the value of tenure at places like FAU, it just makes those deaths in Alabama even more tragic.