Their back

I learned from Profs Griffiths and Rickert’s guest editorial in Monday’s Star that they are spreading the same quality misinformation that they invented during the collective bargaining (CB) campaign of seven years ago.

Several years ago a thorough study of the quality and effectiveness of shared governance in universities across the country with, and without, CB indicated that shared governance worked much better with CB. The authors concluded that this was principally true because CB provided effective protection for faculty from administrative intimidation thus encouraging more faculty to become active. In addition, by enforcing the same rules on administrators (and the Boards), as on the faculty, much of the usual administrative misbehavior was suppressed.

UPI Chapters don’t attempt to “run” universities where they have CB agreements, they protect faculty who are making the shared governmental systems work. They also protect faculty from administrators who are paid to “run” the universities but find it easier to bully faculty than to solve problems.

Profs reference to UPI CB agreements on other campuses demonstrates UPI’s point that UPI Chapters address the problems of their own campuses. The BOG Universities are very different from each other and from NIU. Naturally the problems and solutions of their faculties are often different from those we see at NIU. That is exactly why we need our own, locally negotiated, agreement to address problems as seen by NIU faculty.

A common factor at most campuses is that the Board and the President currently can ignore their own rules, or change them, at their convenience. With a CB agreement they must obey the rules and cannot change them without negotiation with the faculty. When disagreement on application of the rules occurs, the President and Board can enforce anything they choose at the time. With a CB agreement an independent arbitrator (or a court) will settle the matter based on the language of the rules and agreement.

If Profs Griffiths and Rickert truly believed in shared governance, rather than their position in the “old boys club”, they’d be promoting collective bargaining too.