Professor Sue James wrote up a summary of the Open Meeting held on June 1, 2020 and we are sharing it here so that those who were not able to attend have a better idea of what was discussed:
There were approximately 40 people at the Open Meeting Monday, [June] 1st. Most were contract and contingent (i.e., NTT) faculty, along with a few tenured faculty, including faculty council and AAUP representatives, students, and members of the press. We all wore masks and practiced social distancing. Many carried signs: “One Faculty, One CSU”, “Justice For All”, “CSU runs on NTTF labor, DON’T walk all over us.”
The meeting opened with Sue Doe reading the CSU Land Grant Acknowledgement and then Jenny Morse leading us in a minute of silent reflection for all the racial and social injustice that has led to the current unrest, and the suffering caused by COVID-19.
The meeting helped people understand what had happened with BoG cancellation of contracts, and that they were not alone. Jenny let everyone know the 3 recommendations Joyce made to the BoG prior to this week’s meeting. The discussion and Q&A revealed many things:
Some people whose contracts were set to expire at the end of spring 2020 were told their contracts were not going to be renewed, despite the fact that they did not receive the 1-year notice of non-renewal, and in some cases despite the fact that their chair had told them their contracts would be renewed. We are trying to determine how many people are in this category. This was clearly in violation the Manual, was illicit and potentially illegal.
- Some people with contracts set to expire spring 2021 were notified their contracts would not be renewed next year, which is not in violation of the Manual but scared the faculty and made them feel like the university is getting ready to let them go. Most faculty have only been recently put on contracts (in the last 2 years), so sending notice that it might be taken away confused and upset people.
- The way the notices were delivered was very inconsistent across colleges and departments and felt very clandestine.
- Apparently, those whose contracts were not renewed are still slated to teach next academic year.
- Overall the contract and contingent faculty felt they had lost all the hard fought ground they had won over the last two decades. The BoG’s recent action emphasized the importance of multi-year contracts and went against the spirit of all the changes to the Manual in recent years meant to bring contingent faculty more job security and academic freedom.
- They felt particularly devalued and trodden upon because CSU has not made any other decisions about salaries, contracts, job losses, budget cuts, etc. yet. But clearly had no hesitation about stomping on the contingent and contract faculty’s rights. The timing was particularly reprehensible – with notices delivered during finals week of the most difficult semester of instruction in modern memory.
- The meeting ended with discussion of potential actions from gathering information on how many people have been affected, to legal action and a communication campaign (e.g., letter/editorial writing, social media, petitions).
- We took a group photo.