Supports AAUP

The NIU chapter of University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) supports the AAUP in their current quest for a strong Faculty Senate. We’re concerned the AAUP may not be going far enough in its demands. First, the UPI believes nothing short of equal signatory power with the president is satisfactory. We feel the University Council should remain as it is (in terms of representation), but should report to a Faculty Senate, as well as the president. This is one way to help ensure faculty shared governance and prestige. The second, and even more important way, is collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining is on a separate tract from internal governance or a Faculty Senate, Council, etc. The elected collective bargaining team negotiates directly with the Board of Regents over matters such as faculty salaries, working conditions and other programs initiated by the faculty as a whole or by a Faculty Senate. UPI collective bargaining statewide can exercise enough power and influence in lobbying (the legislature) for higher salaries and larger, more reasonable university budgets.

Only recently, the UPI organized the October 21 rally in Springfield that, together with student groups and AFSME, brought together 700 people to ask legislators for higher budgets, higher faculty salaries and no increase in tuition. Out of all of this we at least have the chance to gain these ends soon, if not immediately. It may take another rally or two, but eventually we will get what we need—if we stay organized as one, and don’t go our separate ways.

I think a strong, organized faculty that has an influential Faculty Senate and an insistent collective bargaining team will, more than any other single thing, make this a truly great and highly respected university.

ichard Beard, president

NIU faculty union (UPI)