Dear Member of the AAUP:
The Executive Committee needs to make you aware of a recent arbitration decision. We are deeply disappointed in the outcome and feel that it is best that the members—and particularly our assistant professors—understand the decision so that they can better prepare for their tenure reviews.
The dispute between the AAUP and the administration was based on the Review Statement—the means of measuring whether faculty have met the conditions for reappointment, tenure, and promotion. The Review Statement is a combination of the broad guidelines explained in the University Standards and specific guidelines produced by each academic unit. The purpose of this combination was to guarantee that there was uniformity across the various departments and schools at the university, while still providing faculty with clear guidelines that were based in the accepted standards of their disciplines. Because each academic unit criteria had to be approved by the appropriate CAP, FRPC, and the administration, we believed that both sides accepted the premise that the academic unit criteria truly reflected the University Standards.
The arbitration came about when we became aware of the fact that Oakland had gone beyond the academic unit criteria in at least two c.2 review cases, and added requirements for tenure and promotion. It was our belief that because Oakland had approved of these departments’ criteria for tenure, Oakland had agreed that both of these departments had produced acceptable criteria that would serve as guidelines to faculty undergoing the tenure process. However, without making any effort to amend the department criteria, Oakland simply added requirements at the c.2 stage that would then be used to make tenure and promotion decisions at the c.4 review. Therefore, the AAUP grieved this situation as a violation of the contract.
The arbitrator has announced her ruling in this case. She has decided that since Oakland has the ultimate authority to hire and tenure faculty, it may, at its unilateral discretion, add criteria during the process as long as they are consistent with the general University Standards. (If you would like to see a copy of this decision, please go to our web site at http://www.oaklandaaup.org/TParbitration.pdf) We believe this decision does not reflect the evidence that was presented during the grievance, nor is it in the best interests of either the administration or the faculty. However, we are bound to adhere to this decision, no matter how flawed we believe it to be.
This decision, when linked to previous arbitrations, still compels the administration to give notice to untenured faculty who it believes have deficient records. In the wake of this arbitration it is more important than ever for senior faculty to assist untenured faculty in the review process. Faculty who serve on review committees need to continue to be diligent in protecting the interests of junior faculty standing for review. Collectively we can work to maintain a transparent and fair system of reviewing candidates for tenure and job security.
The AAUP will continue to monitor the review process. If we believe the contract is being violated, we will vigorously defend the faculty with all legal means necessary. If you have any concerns about a review, please contact the AAUP immediately.
President, AAUP--Oakland Chapter
February 15, 2013
In a far-ranging discussion over Oakland´s current push against Workload Policies with Robert Fetter, the OU-AAUP attorney, the following points were clearly reinforced:
Also discussed were the ramifications of several recently-passed state bills, and strategies being used by other universities and labor organizations to minimize impact of recent legislation.
The slate of candidates for the upcoming AAUP Executive Committee elections was finalized. We also discussed proposed By-Law revisions designed to give the opportunity for much more input to the day-to-day workings of the chapter, especially by groups that have been traditionally marginalized. More details of these items will be available before the General Membership meeting at noon on Febrary 28, 2013 in the OC, Banquet Room A.
February 11, 2013
It has come to our attention that all across campus Oakland is requesting academic units review "and revise" their Workload Policies. Below are facts that you should know if your unit is requested to review your Workload Policy, and especially if you are being pressured to insert language into your workload policy with which you are not comfortable:
The development and revision of a workload policy, by Paragraph 69 of the Faculty Agreement, is the responsibility of that unit’s faculty. Oakland’s input to the workload policies comes through “consultation with the appropriate dean or director.” There is no obligation for the unit faculty to accept the suggestions of the dean when reviewing and/or revising a workload policy.
Workload policies are finalized only upon approval of Oakland. If Oakland does not approve of a revision of a unit´s workload policy, or if the unit faculty choose not to revise a workload policy under review, then the last Oakland-approved policy for that unit remains in effect.
Oakland has the right to request a review of a workload policy at any time. Oakland does not have the right to insert language into any workload policy, nor demand that a workload policy be changed in any way.
If you have questions about the facts above, or if you need assistance in reviewing or revising your unit workload policy, please do not hesitate to contact Scott Barns at 2005 or firstname.lastname@example.org