Letter in Support of Oregon Tech-AAUP
April 12, 2021
Dear President Naganathan and Provost Mott,
We are writing to you today to urge you to come to the bargaining table and conclude negotiations with your faculty union, Oregon Tech-AAUP. The approach you have taken thus far is damaging to your institution, your faculty, and your students.
Your blatant disregard for the faculty’s needs has led to overwhelming support for a strike. Should your actions force our union siblings to go on strike, this would mark the first time in Oregon history that a public university’s faculty has had to take this drastic step. Is this the legacy that you want to have as President and Provost of your institution? If you allow this to go any further, your relationship with your faculty will never be the same. Faculty are the heart and soul of any institution of higher education. Students know this and are closely watching your treatment of their professors, instructors, and mentors. Your lack of support for faculty clearly indicates a lack of support for students. If faculty are forced to strike, students may choose to pursue their education elsewhere. Is this a possibility you are willing to entertain?
The Shared Services attorneys that you have relied on to lead your negotiations have a history of poor tactics and decision making, which has often led to less than satisfactory results for the institutions they represent. Our experience with Shared Services reflects this. When Shared Services led the OSU administration’s bargaining team for nearly a year, negotiations were chaotic and unnecessarily acrimonious. The arguments of the issues discussed were often obtuse and nonsensical, and the administration’s bargaining team rarely engaged with our proposals in a substantive or constructive manner. We assume the OSU administration eventually recognized how damaging this approach was to the bargaining process, since the attorney in question was unceremoniously removed from the team. Based on the current state of negotiations at your institution, we fear that their advice has led you down a self-destructive path. Setting aside their poor guidance and settling a fair contract is in the best interests of the students, staff, and faculty of Oregon Tech.
If you allow the current impasse to progress to an actual strike, the damage to the reputations of both the institution and yourselves personally will be irreparable. Who would want to attend a university that has such contempt for its students and faculty? Who would want to work for an institution that refuses to commit to its own policies? Who would want to work with administrators who made history by unnecessarily forcing a strike to occur?
You still have time to reverse much of the damage you have done, but the clock is ticking. Please, make the right decision and come to a fair agreement with Oregon Tech-AAUP. Your institution will be stronger when administrators and faculty work together to solve the problems faced by the institution for which you all care so deeply.
Kathleen Stanley, UAOSU president, on behalf of the UAOSU Executive Council
Kelly McElroy, Executive VP
Jan Medlock, Treasurer
Victor Reyes, Secretary
Louisa Hooven, Chair of the Grievance Committee
Steve Shay, Chair of the Membership and Organizing Committee
Aurora Sherman, Chair of the Social Justice Committee
Marisa Chappell, VP of Tenure Track Faculty
Filix Maisch, VP of Non-Tenure Track Instructional Faculty
Bill Thomas, VP of Non-Tenure Track Research Faculty
Ann Rasmussen, VP of Non-Corvallis Faculty