Even after four failed simulations in New Brunswick, months of bargaining, and a hastily called Friday afternoon SAS-NB meeting that drew 200 people in October 2019, of whom 100 voting faculty unanimously rejected robo-scheduling, the Barchi administration appears set to impose Infosilem/CourseAtlas in fall 2020.
Hundreds of faculty responded to our action survey. Virtually all of them wanted a collective petition to voice our central demand: delay implementation of CourseAtlas (formerly Infosilem) until faculty secure guaranteed, enforceable protections for service, research, and family commitments, as well as faculty authority to resolve scheduling conflicts.
Robo-scheduling will improve the student experience at Rutgers.
False. Simulations have not included students’ preferences and no study has been released on how this could improve travel. Simulations so far assume our students, who often work as well as take classes and lead busy lives, are available for class at times when our departments have long established they are not.
The Rutgers Administration has already accommodated faculty demands to block off times for child care, research, and other commitments.
False. Rutgers’ Administration refuses to put in writing any of these necessary accommodations in an enforceable agreement. Further, any of their current stated or implied accommodations for one semester can be jettisoned the next. We need an enforceable agreement in writing.
Chairs, Undergraduate and Graduate Program Directors and other faculty administrators will be able to correct schedules.
False. Rutgers’ Administration refuses to allow a faculty member to override the decisions of the algorithm to make necessary revisions. Chairs may be able to correct some problems, such as canceling the course of a professor taking leave in Fall 2020, but even that accommodation may evaporate in the future. Again, we need an enforceable agreement.
Robo-scheduling will have little to no impact on the research, service and mentoring schedules of faculty.
False. After four simulations at our New Brunswick campuses—no simulations have been done at Camden or Newark—faculty continue to receive schedules that would drastically alter and interfere with their ability to conduct research and service. The algorithm continues to churn out impossible conflicts and times that would threaten enrollments or impede scholarly work.
Robo-scheduling will be an advantage for Part-Time Lecturers and Non-Tenure Track faculty.
False. In fact, most of our chairs have expressed alarm about the impact on our most vulnerable faculty. Infosilem prevents instructors who teach part time at Rutgers from reconciling their complex multi-institutional teaching schedules. Indeed, the robot may make it nearly impossible for any faculty member to teach at two Rutgers’ campuses that both use this system.
Postdoc Contract Campaign
Nearly 600 Rutgers postodocs await a response from management to our proposals on salary, health care, housing and child care assistance and professional development. Postdocs deserve the respect of a living wage in a state with a skyrocketing cost of living. With no counterproposals in our hands yet on salary, health care and the other economic items, postdocs are essentially working under the effects of a pay cut since our cost of living continues to increase. We need a fair contract, and we need it now. If you would like to get involved with our small planning group to develop action plans, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Save Lincoln Annex
Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and local developer DEVCO have planned with the New Brunswick Board of Education to purchase and close the Lincoln Annex School, (grades 4-8), at 165 Somerset Street, right across the street from the RWJ Hospital. The school, which serves 750 children, opened just three years ago (September 2016), after the Board purchased and renovated a former Catholic school at a cost of $22 million. Lincoln Annex is “Future Ready” and one of the city’s better performing schools in terms of student growth and development. Its student body is 94% Latino, and 86% “economically disadvantaged.” Yet RWJ and the Cancer Institute want to tear the school down to build a new $750-million cancer pavilion.
School officials have been extremely evasive and dishonest with parents when asked about the potential school closing. But engineers and surveyors have been through the school and the plan is to begin work by early summer! This means the school would be closed in 5 months. The Board of Education plans to relocate students to a school in an industrial warehouse two miles away. This will cause working families undue hardship. The school will only provide busing for students who live more than 2 miles away from the warehouse. Many parents will have to arrange their own transportation each day. Most families do not have cars, and many do not drive. Their children have walked to school for the past several years. Even those who will qualify for busing, will face challenges whenever a child misses the bus or gets sick at school and has to be picked up. The new school could take a decade to build, as happened with the Redshaw School in New Brunswick not long ago.
The construction of a new cancer center is a worthy cause, but it shouldn’t be built on the backs of children. This project places a heavy burden on our community’s most vulnerable residents. New Brunswick’s population is 53% Latino; 40% of all households earned less than $30,000 in 2017. The city’s “revitalization” and development have already pushed longtime residents farther away from the city center. This will be yet another example of urban renewal displacing working-class communities, people of color, and the economically marginalized.
RWJ and Rutgers can build elsewhere. If they want the Lincoln Annex site, they must build a new school in the same neighborhood to replace it FIRST.
Stop this injustice! Help defend local school children! The Coalition to Defend Lincoln Annex School