On October 23, 2017, President Deepa Kumar and Vice-President David M. Hughes sent out a follow-up message to union members describing the victory for faculty governance achieved on Friday, October 20: SAS faculty and staff passed a resolution that halts the implementation of SAS reorganization. Implementation will be halted until an elected committee of staff and faculty can meet to review SAS staff support.
Dear Union member,
On Friday, more than 300 SAS faculty and staff attended an extraordinary meeting with SAS Executive Dean Peter March. After hearing dozens speak out unanimously and passionately in opposition to his plan to reorganize SAS support staff, March conceded to our collective demands that he halt implementation of the plan until a committee of elected faculty and staff is able to research, write and submit a report with recommendations on existing structure and expectations for support staff.
Executive Dean March's decision to halt the SAS reorganization of support staff structures followed more than an hour and a half of spirited exchanges and fervent pleas for Rutgers to operate with faculty and staff governance "like a university and not a corporation." In response, March stated: "I'd be happy to stipulate the resolution and act upon it." When pressed to specify his meaning—as he refused to allow a vote—March conceded that no staff realignment would take place until after the recommendations of an elected committee, as stated in our proposed resolution:
Whereas all stakeholders should have full and prior input into decisions about the structure and expectations of staff support for the work of the School of Arts and Sciences (New Brunswick),
Therefore, be it resolved that the implementation of the realignment plan be ceased until the final report of an elected committee, comprised equally of staff and faculty, that shall be constituted and empowered to recommend further changes, if any, to the current structure and expectations for staff support.
Vice Dean of Administration JoAnne Williams also acknowledged that SAS would not be implementing Kronos "any time soon." Additionally, March confirmed that the hiring process for new SAS Directors of Administration was in process and would continue, but characterized their role as an administrative support for the Area Deans, and vowed that they would not be incorporated into the reporting lines proposed as part of the "SAS Realignment" until the latter was subject to faculty and staff review.
Faculty and staff will be working out the details of forming an elected committee, but we wanted to communicate the results of Friday's meeting right away. This was a step forward for governance, and a leap ahead in faculty and staff united action. Together, we can continue to make real gains.
Deepa Kumar, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
David M. Hughes, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT