2/19/19 EC Agenda
- Newsletter #7 on 2/18/19.
- Budget for Lobby Day, mileage and meal costs for up to 8 participants (had three attend).
- AME on ASOSU candidates on 2/18/19.
Group Agreements: Let’s quickly review our group agreements and the addition we made at last meeting to not use sanist/ableist language for those unable to attend. The below links are good articles for contextualizing the importance of this group agreement.
Update on Faculty Union: Dan Anderson will be able to give us a brief update on how the faculty union bargaining is going.
Ed Ray Meeting: We have two members who will attend this meeting with us to discuss issues of harassment at OSU. We will want to give them time and license to share their stories and thoughts on how to address the issue. We’ll also want to discuss additional topics like OSU’s reporting on race and gender. For folks attending this meeting, can we agree to meet 30 minutes in advance of the meeting to discuss how we will facilitate the discussion?
- Note from Emory: I will also discuss a situation in which a lab is experiencing a very hostile work environment if we have time.
Feser’s Email Statement: We want to finalize this statement about Ed Feser’s email, and start to develop a plan to getting member buy-in and distributing this statement.
- On January 16th, Provost and Executive Vice President, Ed Feser, and Vice President for Finance and Administration, Mike Green, issued a bleak assessment about our university’s future to OSU faculty and staff. Not only did they fail to send this message to grad employees, but CGE also disagrees with their assumptions made in the email. Therefore, CGE feels it is appropriate to broadly communicate our own assessment of the situation.
The essence of Feser and Green’s statement is that permanent OSU budget cuts are necessary. CGE takes issue with this assertion. Feser and Green do not mention that recent OSU’s budget projections have been miscalculated by a $10 million surplus in a given year, or that a “budget” is not synonymous with “revenue.” Instead, they attempt to paint a picture of zero options for the university.
These cuts are not inevitable and they are not necessary. CGE will continue to improve the lives of all graduate employees, and we will collaborate with OSU faculty and staff to ensure investments are made to improve their lives as well. OSU works because we do, and OSU thrives when we do.
CGE is familiar with the story Feser and Green present, as they have not changed it much from year to year. Increases in public worker pensions (PERS) and insufficient enrollment (even after a decade of record numbers) are always to blame. Their solutions are always tuition hikes, more aggressive recruitment, and to pass responsibility for solutions to the situation solely to the state. This logic places blame on students and state priorities and does not hold our own administration accountable for faulty forecasting.
Feser and Green would have you believe that the current situation marks a dramatic drop in the University’s ability to financially sustain itself. They write that “central administrative functions will absorb a larger relative share of the reduction than academic units”; a seeming extension of good faith. They state several administrative units will see higher cuts than those for colleges and academic units. However, percentages are not illustrative of overall impact. A 1.8% cut in the Provost’s Office will not have the same consequences as a 1.1% reduction for already underfunded departments, particularly those that rely on GTA positions.
What will these cuts look like to the students, staff, faculty, adjuncts, and graduate employees who are committed to OSU’s educational mission?
Larger class sizes.
More course cancellations.
Less investment in humanities.
Extra work for less pay for adjuncts and staff.
How will these potential changes help the University accomplish “more proactive recruiting, and transfer student support?” How do these changes align with the University’s stated mission to promote “economic, social, cultural and environmental progress for the people of Oregon, the nation and the world?”
Though they won’t admit it, Feser and Green are simply taking a gamble on the future. The gamble they make is that workers and students will accept the consequences of their poor management, a Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) model, and will not question whether this model is fair or desirable. They gamble that they can continue to recruit high numbers of undergraduates while not investing in the prime motivation for student enrollment: quality education. And they gamble that faculty, staff, graduate student workers, and students will believe the myth that there are no options except the one they have determined is necessary.
Options other than budget cuts are available. The most obvious is to not make any cuts, as the projected loss is so minimal compared to OSU’s healthy endowment that it will have no negative impact to the university at large. OSU could also prioritize need and make cuts only to the top earners, which includes Feser and Green and President Ed Ray who conveniently received a 6% pay increase to a compensation package in excess of $800,000 within days of Feser’s and Green’s statement. When the top 25 OSU earners make a combined salary of $25 million a year, then cuts should only be taken from their salaries.
More importantly, Feser and Green can start making decisions that focuses on people first before simply turning them into numbers without a name, without families, without needs, and without a future that will suffer should budget cuts occur.
CGE is calling on all students, staff, graduate student workers, and faculty to reject these budget cuts as stated by Feser and Green.
OSU’s Board of Trustees will meet on April 5, 2019 from 9:00-4:00pm in the Memorial Union Horizon Room. Schedule an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to make public comment and share how cuts will negatively impact you.
Write to President Ed Ray, Provost Ed Feser, and Vice President Mike Green about how these cuts are unacceptable by emailing email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com
Write an op-ed to your local Barometer and Gazette Times.
But most important, get involved in CGE’s bargaining campaign. Find out how by messaging our Executive Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.