Category Archives: Shock Doctrine

PASSHE and the US Education Delivery Institute (Part 2 of ???)

A couple of weeks ago, I did a pretty lengthy post beginning to lay out PASSHE’s (otherwise unannounced) participation in a higher education “initiative” (ahem) with an organization called the US Education Delivery Institute. As I wrote and started to pay careful attention to the language in their mission and elsewhere on the website, I started to get, well, irritable (something of an understatement!) at the coded nature of the language EDI uses to obscure its agenda, which seems to be squarely along the lines of the Bill Gates/Michelle Rhee/Arne Duncan “educational reform” movement (further evidenced by the fact that the Gates Foundation is listed as their primary funder).

Anyway, the kind of close reading of their site that I’d planned on doing has struck me as essentially fruitless. If you’re an APSCUF member or an academic at pretty much any advanced level, you can decode their site on your own; it’s not very oblique.

If you don’t feel like digging through it, all you really need to understand about their rhetorical approach is this: like the Gates Foundation, and like Arne Duncan’s Race to the Top, and like Michelle Rhee’s Students First organization, US EDI frames its mission in terms that are difficult to disagree with. I teach a course in Propaganda; we use the term “glittering generalities” to describe what I’m talking about. Who could be opposed to “student success?” Who could be opposed to “efficiency?” Who could be opposed to “excellence?”

So when US EDI emphasizes its mission of improving access to and retention in higher education for marginalized students, who (if you already teach at a public university, or community college, especially) would contest or dispute that as a goal? It’s the very essence of our reason for being, isn’t it? [Yes, this is melo-dramatic overstatement.]

So what’s the problem? I fully support the mission of providing access and high quality education to the Commonwealth. I’d love nothing more than to have a sustainable system that could do right by any student who wants a college education. But we don’t have that, especially while our Governor proposed in March to slash our state allocation in half (the budget bill about to pass the PA Legislature sets the reduction at 18%), and it’s, er, unclear how our system is supposed to educate more students and do it well while our funding is getting crushed under the collective foot of a state government that isn’t very interested in paying for much of anything. Or put another way, the “do-more-with-less” trope has been pushed beyond its logical extreme currently in PA.

The promise of deliverology is that it can help systems solve that problem. It can, that is, help us continue to do more with less by, well, as I try to explain it, I realize that based on the website materials, uh, er, I can’t really answer that question.

Neither can anybody else, it seems from any of the other systems that have joined up with US EDI. In our next episode, I’ll report on the results of some discussions I have had with colleagues in the California State and Connecticut state university systems. Let’s just say they’re impressions aren’t, er, positive.


Filed under Academic Freedom, Access, Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Collective Bargaining, deliverology, PASSHE, Program elimination, Public education, Retention, Retrenchment, Shock Doctrine, US Education Delivery Institute

More news on the budget

This press release just out from State APSCUF:

The budget that’s likely to pass (by the way, without ANY significant Democratic input whatsoever) imposes an 18% cut on the PASSHE allocation, which would require a tuition increase in the neighborhood of 10% to level off. We can rest pretty sure that the Board of Governors will approve nothing of the sort.

It’s well worth taking one more shot at calling/writing your legislators to make one more appeal on our behalf. There’s nothing to lose. And now that we have a specific number, we can make a lot more concrete arguments about how these cuts will harm our campuses; we can sound simultaneously less shrill and more certain. May as well give it a try.

And then get ready. The cuts management has been threatening for months are about to start getting announced. APSCUF will fight like hell to minimize the damage to our institutions inflicted by this absurd political theater playing out on the backs of PA’s families–students, staff, and faculty.

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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, PASSHE, Public education, Shock Doctrine, Tom Corbett

Tentative Budget Deal Reached

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting on Friday morning that the PA Legislature and Governor Fracker have reached a tentative deal on the state budget.

The preliminary reports are not good for us, although the numbers aren’t yet very precise. The article indicates that the “state-supported” universities will take a 19% hit, but doesn’t distinguish between PASSHE and the state-relateds. So we don’t yet know exactly what will happen to us.

If that 19% is even close to what we see when the numbers are released, we’re going to have lots of work to do protecting our system from the kinds of Draconian cuts we all know PASSHE already wants to make. Yet again, our state government has provided the cover under which our Chancellor and Board of Governors can radically overhaul our whole system, while pretending that it has anything whatsoever to do with economics.

As a pacifist, I usually am very stridently resistant to military metaphors, but in this case, … Oh hell, I still can’t do it.

But now at least the circular logic of management is laid bare: “We can’t afford to pay for anything [except more managers and management salaries]. Why not? Because we just gave all the money away. See?”

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Filed under Access, APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, Budget Deficit, Collective Bargaining, Contract Negotiations, Office of the Chancellor, PASSHE, Penn State University, Public education, Retrenchment, Shock Doctrine, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, West Chester University

IUP management proposes radical (and not in a good way) overhaul of the university

My department chair (via our Dean, via the Provost) just e-mailed around this article from the Indiana Gazette (originally published Fri 6/11, updated Sat 6/12).

The short version is that IUP management proposes, by Fall 2012, eliminating 62 (yes, that’s right–SIXTY-TWO!!!!!!) programs from the university’s curriculum, ranging from Associates to Masters degree programs. Management offers a variety of rationales for elimination: low enrollments, high expenses, changing needs in the Commonwealth, the current budget crisis, and so on, all of which every PASSHE campus has heard before, and some of which aren’t especially consistent with each other. Management also lobs the retrenchment-grenade, albeit in a vague way. Furthermore, as IUP-APSCUF Vice-President Francisco Alarcon notes:

“I think it’s posturing for the most part,” said Vice President Francisco Alarcon. He said he believes the plan is an attempt by administrators to scare faculty into retirement, which would save the university money.

Alarcon said it is unclear to him the basis on which the decision to discontinue any given program was made. He said the decisions seemed arbitrary and had no real analysis behind them.

He also said the proposal fails to outline which programs are to benefit, and to what extent, from the elimination of others.

Buried among a great many slippery claims in the article, I was simultaneously relieved and disturbed to find this one, in a statement from IUP Interim President Werner:

“While commonwealth budget issues have been at the center of many of our discussions and decisions, even if future budgets are more favorable than currently projected, the university must still preserve and invest in its strongest and highest-quality programs through strategic reallocation,” he wrote.

Do you see what I see? I see a not-very-subtle admission that the agenda here has little, if anything, to do with the economic viability of IUP, and most certainly little, if anything, to do with the quality of the institution as it currently fulfills its mission. I see, as Kevin Mahoney has written about several times on the KUXchange, an effort to transform PASSHE schools, heart and soul, into degree-manufacturing facilities that turn out widgets, um, I mean degree-bearing workers, er, um, I mean students, er um (What about PEOPLE?!?), quality of their education be damned.

[I’ll have a post ready later this week about PASSHE’s participation in a program run by a think (ahem) tank called the US Educational Delivery Institute, one implication of which is that it provides another layer of cover for this attack.]

So, for those of us who work in or attend PASSHE schools, two points to leave you with–

1. We ALL have to be on the lookout for these moves on our campuses. If your management hasn’t yet unveiled (admitted to) these plans, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You’re not.

2. I know the IUP-APSCUF chapter is one of the best organized chapters in our union. They’re very capable of fighting this fight, but they shouldn’t have to do it without knowing we support them and stand ready to help in any way we can.



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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, Budget Deficit, Collective Bargaining, Indiana University of PA, PASSHE, Program elimination, Public education, Retirement, Retrenchment, Shock Doctrine, West Chester University

Follow the money!

I’m sorry to title this post with such a tired cliche, but dagnabbit, it’s right on target again!

As you’re likely aware, Governor Corbett is attacking not just public higher education but all public education in PA.  There’s legislation pending in Harrisburg that would transfer a huge chunk of the money Governor Drill-and-Kill (Drill the Shale, Kill the Schools) wants to cut from K-12 education into a voucher program.

From my early morning cruise through the blogosphere, two articles that help debunk the notion that vouchers are anything but money-stealers from public schools for private interests:

1. In Testing for Thee, but Not for Me, Kevin Drum reports the results of a study from Milwaukee Public Schools indicating (not for the first time!) that voucher-eligible schools are producing test scores that aren’t any better than their public school counterparts. So, all those lazygreedyunion teachers wouldn’t seem to be the problem, would they?

2. If you follow the KUXchange blog, you’ve seen them developing arguments, based on Naomi Klein’s notion of the Shock Doctrine, which holds (in simplistic terms) that the powerful often use rhetorics of crisis and disaster (shock) as smokescreens behind which they accrete power to themselves while people aren’t watching.  In Monday’s HuffPost Education section, Timothy Slekar from Penn State-Altoona applies the Shock Doctrine directly to Governor Drill-and-Kill’s K-12 budget proposal.  His most interesting finding, in my estimation, is that the voucher program in SB1, along with increased (you gotta be frackin’ kidding me!) testing requirements that add nothing to education, will ACTUALLY COST MORE than the proposed cuts would save.

Sometime later today, I’ll see if I can find this again, but about 6 weeks ago, I found evidence that the second largest individual contributor to the Corbett for Governor campaign is the guy who owns the Charter School Management firm that would profit the most from Drill-and-Kill’s “education reform” package.  Gee.  We’re surprised, aren’t we?


Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, Budget Deficit, Follow the Money, K-12 Education, PA Senate Bill 1, PASSHE, Penn State University, Public education, research, Shock Doctrine, taxes, Tom Corbett, Uncategorized, Vouchers/School Choice

Chronicle of Higher Ed says Faculty Unions don’t help


An article in Monday’s Chronicle reports “new” “research” (note the scare quotes) finding that faculty unions, especially at public colleges/universities, don’t produce discernible advantages for their members.

I’ve read much of the research the author of this piece cites as I’ve been working on an article of my own.  Let’s just say he makes two troubling mistakes.  First, he doesn’t examine the background of his sources; much of that research comes from management and management-friendly folks.  Second, a lot of it analyzes survey data that’s old.  Unless I missed something, none of it’s newer than the early 2000s. 

So we need to be prepared to answer these kinds of arguments, both critically and proactively.  That is, what does our union do for us that we couldn’t do as well without it?


May 1, 2011

What Good Do Faculty Unions Do?

Research sheds little light on quantifiable benefits of collective bargaining

Leonardo Carrizo for The Chronicle

Unions representing public-college faculty members are on the brink of being stripped of power in Ohio, where supporters of collective-bargaining rights gathered last month to protest.

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Leonardo Carrizo for The Chronicle

Unions representing public-college faculty members are on the brink of being stripped of power in Ohio, where supporters of collective-bargaining rights gathered last month to protest.

By Peter Schmidt

As unions that represent public-college professors have come under attack in state legislatures, the unions’ leaders have fought back without being able to define what, exactly, they stand to lose if their right to collectively bargain goes away.

Many union leaders have declared that right essential if faculty members are to be paid adequately, treated fairly, and given a voice in their institutions’ affairs. But the research that tests such assertions offers mixed findings. At most private colleges, as well as at public colleges where faculty members have chosen not to form unions or have been precluded from doing so by state law, many faculty members work without union contracts without feeling particularly exploited.

If anything, the research shows that the gains derived through collective bargaining are difficult to measure. Factors such as regional differences in the cost of living and market-related variations in what colleges are willing to pay their employees have confounded most attempts to determine whether faculty members with union contracts are better off than others. At four-year colleges, the financial payoffs from collective bargaining appear modest at best. At two-year colleges, such financial gains might be bigger, but they remain little studied and poorly defined.

The chief benefits of unionization appear to have less to do with getting faculty members more bread than in giving them some say over how it is sliced. Those who belong to collective-bargaining units have been found by researchers to have more say in the management of their institutions and how the faculty payroll is divvied up.

“At institutions where a substantial number of the faculty are represented in collective bargaining, you are much more likely to have a substantial faculty voice in governance,” says Marc Bousquet, an associate professor of English at Santa Clara University, regular blogger for The Chronicle, and co-chairman of an American Association of University Professors committee on the working conditions of adjunct faculty members. “It is not necessarily the case that collective bargaining addresses governance procedures directly,” he says, so much as it gives faculty members more power within their institutions than they might otherwise have.

“Across the broad spectrum of institutions of higher education, faculty unions do make a difference,” says Philo Hutcheson, who has monitored research on faculty unionization as an associate professor of educational-policy studies at Georgia State University. While unions can bring about improvements in faculty members’ pay and working conditions, he says, “they are far stronger, in general, in terms of protecting faculty members” from arbitrary management decisions.

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Public-employee unions in Ohio are urging voters to repeal a new law limiting the rights of many state workers. The gains made through collective bargaining by public-college faculty members, however, have proved hard to measure.

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Leonardo Carrizo for The Chronicle

Lingering Threats

It is common for state lawmakers to respond to economic downturns by calling on public employees to sacrifice pay or benefits to help close state budget gaps. This year, however, lawmakers in some states have gone beyond trying to extract financial concessions from unions and mounted all-out assaults on the unions themselves. Although the battles are hardly over, unions representing public-college faculty members are on the brink of being stripped of much of their power in Ohio and Wisconsin, and continue to face threats to their existence in Florida.

In Ohio, public employees’ unions are urging voters to repeal a measure, signed into law by Gov. John R. Kasich in March, that would sharply limit the collective-bargaining rights of many state workers and specifically renders most public-college faculty members ineligible for union representation by reclassifying them as managerial employees. The campaign against the law has until late June to gather enough signatures to put a referendum to repeal it on the November ballot. If either the petition-gathering effort or the referendum fails, the new law will take effect.

Although the debate in Ohio has been highly partisan, pitting the state’s Republican governor and lawmakers against Democrats and their union allies, the  proposed reclassification came not from some conservative think tank, but from the Inter-University Council of Ohio, an association of the state’s public universities. A similar provision was recently put forward by top Democratic lawmakers in Connecticut at the behest of the Democratic governor, Dannel P. Malloy, only to be killed by a legislative committee at the urging of groups representing public colleges’ faculty members.

Faculty members and academic staff at the University of Wisconsin are denied the right to collectively bargain, under a law signed by Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican. The measure remains tied up in court, however, as a result of lawsuits alleging that a legislative committee violated the state’s open-meeting laws in passing it. The Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of Teachers is going ahead with union elections on the system’s campuses, out of a belief—untested by any research—that such unions can be a major voice in their campuses’ affairs even without collective-bargaining rights.

A bill pending before Florida’s Legislature would revoke the certification of any public-college employee union that represents less than half of the workers eligible for membership unless those workers vote to recertify it by July 1. Union representatives have argued that the measure would stack the deck against them by affording little time for recertification votes and requiring the elections to be held during months when fewer faculty members are around.

Seeking More Say

Much of the research on the effects of such faculty unions was published in the 1970s and early 80s, and focused on the initial wave of unionization efforts made possible by states’ adoption of laws letting public employees bargain collectively. In an exhaustive research review published in the journal Higher Education in 2008, Christine M. Wickens, then a graduate student at York University, in Toronto, cautioned that the research on fledgling unions from two or three decades ago might have little application to the current era, when faculty unions are more entrenched on college campuses and, at the same time, face comparatively more opposition from political conservatives.

In summing up the research to that point, Ms. Wickens said there was little consensus on the influence of unionization on college governance, and little evidence that unionization promoted academic freedom. She found a fair amount of agreement among researchers that faculty members believe they benefit from unionization when it comes to job security, tenure, promotion procedures, and due process. The research she cited included a 1999 article, in the Journal of Labor Research, which concluded, based on an analysis of data from seven of Ohio’s public universities, that belonging to a union appeared to increase a faculty members’ chances of earning tenure and rising to full professor.

More recently, however, a study of more than 340 four-year colleges, presented last fall at the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, concluded that unionization did not appear to give faculty members significantly more power over tenure-and-promotion decisions, despite the attention given such issues by collective-bargaining agreements.

The paper nonetheless painted a fairly positive picture of unionization’s effect on the working conditions of faculty members, finding that unionization “greatly increases faculty influence” over pay scales, the salaries of individual faculty, and the appointments of department heads and of members of institutionwide committees, and shows some signs of giving college faculty members more say over curriculum and faculty teaching loads.

Stephen R. Porter, an associate professor of research and evaluation at Iowa State University, and Clinton M. Stephens, a graduate student there, conducted the study by analyzing the results of a 2001 national survey of faculty-senate leaders and college presidents.

Salary Crunching

Efforts to measure the financial benefits that public colleges’ faculty members derive from unionization are complicated by factors that invalidate dollar-for-dollar comparisons of pay packages.

Among the chief obstacles to salary comparisons is the geographic distribution of unionized campuses, which are concentrated in states with relatively high costs of living. About half of unionized faculty members work in California or New York, and most work at colleges in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and West, according to data compiled by the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions.

Where public colleges in such states are found to pay faculty members more, it is hard to tease out whether their doing so stems from collective bargaining or the need to offer more so that faculty members can afford to live there. Further complicating the picture, colleges do not operate in isolation but in labor markets where they compete for talent, so the gains made by unionized faculty members at one college through collective bargaining might then be offered by colleges without unions to keep their faculty members from being lured away.

Also confounding such studies is the chicken-and-egg problem of differentiating unionization’s causes and effects. A finding that unionized faculties are paid less than nonunionized faculties, for example, might reflect that collective bargaining does little to improve wages, or it might reflect that frustration over low wages often leads to unionization.

In a paper published in April in Industrial and Labor Relations Review, four economists—David W. Hedrick and Charles S. Wassell Jr., of Central Washington University, and Steven E. Henson and John M. Krieg, of Western Washington University—describe how they fashioned a study of full-time faculty at four-year colleges that sought to account for the effects of unionization alone. They mathematically accounted for cost-of-living differences as well as other factors, such as professional background and institutional classification, that influence how much faculty members are paid, in analyzing data based on about 24,000 faculty members and 1,060 colleges collected from 1988 through 2004 as part of the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty. They concluded that the increase in wages associated with unionization was so small it was statistically insignificant.

The article, “Is There Really a Faculty Union Salary Premium?” cautions that “the weak effect that unions have on salaries does not necessarily indicate that they are ineffective advocates for their members,” because it is entirely possible that unions win other gains, such as better benefits and improved working conditions.

Ronald G. Ehrenberg, a professor of industrial and labor relations and economics at Cornell University, says he is not surprised that the faculty members covered by the study did not reap significant financial gains from collective bargaining. Most states that let faculty members at public colleges engage in collective bargaining do not give them the right to go on strike or have salaries set through arbitration, and without either tool, he says, faculty members “have limited bargaining power.”

Typically, Mr. Ehrenberg says, labor unions have won major wage gains for their members in industries that can tap into big profits—and state higher-education systems hardly fit such a bill.

Knowledge Gaps

Mr. Hedrick says he and the other authors of the paper on full-time faculty at four-year colleges are conducting similar studies looking at both two-year and four-year colleges and covering other types of faculty members, including adjuncts. They hope to publish results within a year.

Research on unionization’s effects on two-year colleges is sparse, and the research on its effect on adjunct faculty is virtually nonexistent.

Full-time faculty members at community colleges in states that allow them to collectively bargain were found to earn substantially more than community-college faculty members elsewhere in a 2006 analysis of data from more than 1,000 institutions. The study was conducted by Jose F. Maldonado, then a doctoral student at the University of North Texas, with the assistance of David E. Hardy, an associate professor of higher education at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and Stephen G. Katsinas, a professor of higher education there.

The three researchers broke out their results, which they have presented at higher-education conferences but never published, by institution size and by whether colleges were rural, suburban, or urban. They found that the pay advantage for faculty members in collective-bargaining states ranged from 11 percent, or about $4,300, for full-time faculty members at small, rural community colleges to 48 percent, or about $20,200, for those at suburban community colleges that were not part of a system. On average, community-college faculty in states that allowed collective bargaining earned nearly $13,900, or about 32 percent, more than those who were in states that did not. Moreover, the community colleges in states that allowed collective bargaining spent an average of about $4,300, or nearly 50 percent, more per head on benefits for full-time faculty members.

The study only gathered raw numbers dealing with compensation and made no effort to account for cost-of-living differences or other factors that could have skewed its results. In a recent interview, Mr. Katsinas expressed doubt that any such factors could fully account for the pay differences that the study associates with laws allowing collective bargaining, but he acknowledged that such gaps cannot be attributed to collective-bargaining laws alone.

On the question of whether unionization has helped adjunct faculty members, Keith Hoeller, a longtime advocate for adjunct-faculty rights and a co-founder of the Washington Part-Time Faculty Association, is skeptical. Although unions that represent solely adjuncts have cropped up at many colleges, the chief national unions that they are affiliated with represent a mixture of adjuncts and tenured and tenure-track faculty members. Mr. Hoeller, who teaches in Washington State, complains that adjuncts have relatively little say in negotiations involving tenured and tenure-track faculty members, whose interests often are at odds with theirs. “When the dust settles,” he says, “there are almost no gains for adjuncts from these bargaining teams.”

Speaking From Experience

Public-college faculty members are themselves hardly in agreement on unionization’s benefits, as evidenced by the failure of some votes on unionization and the inability of faculty unions to gain much of a foothold among the nation’s most prestigious universities.

“The best and the brightest of the faculty don’t feel they need a labor union. They feel they are professionals. They feel they are competing in a national market. They don’t want to get bogged down by collective bargaining,” argues Richard K. Vedder, a Chronicle blogger who is director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and a professor of economics at Ohio University, one of three public universities in that state where faculty members never went the unionization route.

But Rudy H. Fichtenbaum, a professor of economics at Wright State University and a member of the board of the Ohio conference of the AAUP, says he is convinced that the state’s faculty unions are worth fighting for.

“We can definitely point to a lot of tangible benefits from collective bargaining,” he says. At Wright State, he argues, it has led to a fairer distribution of raises, clearer tenure requirements, faculty input on annual evaluation criteria, and better benefits for faculty members. “There is no question that this is a better place to work.”


Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Chronicle of Higher Ed, Collective Bargaining, Public education, research, Shock Doctrine

You Pay, Corporations Don’t (repost from KUXchange)

Yet another score from our friends at the KUXchange.  The CLEAR Coalition explains one reason why tax revenues in PA aren’t higher. If the link to the vid doesn’t show up in your e-mail (for those of you who get posts by subscription), just click through to the blog post itself and the video is there.

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Filed under Advocacy, Budget, Budget Cuts, Budget Deficit, Communities, Follow the Money, Shock Doctrine, taxes, Tom Corbett, Uncategorized

Two MUST-READ posts from the KUXchange (KU’s local blog)

1. If you’re still not convinced that the threat of retrenchment is real, even at WCU, where President Weisenstein has been telling us for two years now about the sound financial health of the university, you need to read Kevin Mahoney’s post, I Went to Harrisburg, and My Head Exploded.  I’ve known Kevin for a long time now and know that he’s often motivated to fight against this kind of madness but rarely taken by surprise.  Even with all the research KU-APSCUF has done in the last couple of years, it was hard to anticipate what they’ve found.

2.  Contributor mslibrarygoddess says it loud and proud, in Don’t Want to Accept Responsibility? Blame Teachers! A couple of marquis moments.

Responding to the assertion by some politicians that teachers are the greedy ones:

[R]ather than seeing teachers as advocates, the government is making them out to be greedy millionaires who want to line their pockets with your tax dollars.

Hmmmm….if that’s what teachers were doing, wouldn’t they all be politicians? After all, aren’t politicians the people that have taken jobs that were supposed to be civil service positions, things you volunteered for to serve your community and if you were paid it was a modest salary, and made them into career positions that eat up tax dollars?


Teachers are more than teachers. We do the work of educators, counselors, administrators, disciplinarians. We become more than just someone standing up in front of a room lecturing. We become people that are charged with the emotional and physical well being o students in addition to their academic well being.

And we do it all while we are under appreciated, while jobs are being taken away, while class sizes are exploding out of control and the time of the year when we work is dedicated to nothing but work. And we get blamed for everything because we speak out.

Taken together, these two posts underscore the OBLIGATION we have to fight against a radical agenda that doesn’t want an educated citizenry, wants to funnel pubic money into private pockets, and doesn’t much care about what else happens to anybody.


Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, Budget Deficit, Collective Bargaining, Communities, Kutztown University, Links, PASSHE, Public education, Retrenchment, Shock Doctrine, Student activism, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, West Chester University

The irony is almost too bitter

Consecutive order in my Inbox, right now (Thurs 4/21, 9:42 am):

*Notes from a special Meet and Discuss on Tuesday (which I can’t share), in which management says both that it intends to fully protect the faculty against retrenchment and that retrenchment is possible.  I understand they want to take the position that they’re on our side but can’t guarantee anything, and that it might even be true. 

*A message from President Weisenstein glowing about our recently completed Middle States evaluation process, including among MSCHE’s highest praises for WCU the following:

–      West Chester has been blessed to recruit and retain high quality faculty and staff, who are extremely loyal to the campus and dedicated to ensuring students receive a quality education, both in and outside the classroom.

So let me get this straight.

On the one hand, our local management is doing the delicate dance of simultaneously threatening and saving us from the evil budget boogeyman out there.

On the other, a major multistate accrediting agency is pointing out that one of the major strengths of the university is its ability to retain faculty.


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Filed under APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, PASSHE, Public education, Retrenchment, Shock Doctrine, West Chester University

Just in case you’re not clear on the political context…

…for Tom Corbett’s proposal to slash the PASSHE budget and all public education budgets in PA, for the Feds’ desperate rush to cut spending in the middle of deficit and so on, this gem of a video makes it all crystal clear.  Thanks to Kevin Mahoney from the KUXchange for posting.


So remember–

Wed April 27, 7 pm.  Chester County Courthouse!  Rally for Public Education!

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Filed under Advocacy, APSCUF, Budget, Budget Cuts, Budget Deficit, Collective Bargaining, Contract Negotiations, K-12 Education, Kutztown University, PASSHE, Public education, Shock Doctrine, Student activism, Tom Corbett, Tuition increase, West Chester University