In October, full-time non-tenure track faculty at Wright State University voted overwhelmingly to have the Wright State chapter of the AAUP represent them in collective bargaining. The chapter has served as the collective bargaining agent for full-time tenure track faculty.
The vote shows dissatisfaction with the administration’s decision to impose a one-size-fits-all teaching load on non-tenure-track faculty. Martin Kich, president of the chapter, says, “This is a group of faculty who do a substantial portion of the undergraduate teaching at Wright State University, and their teaching conditions represent our students’ learning conditions. We are very concerned that the increasing teaching load for this group of faculty will degrade the quality of education that we provide to our students.”
A faculty committee representing non-tenure-track faculty had worked for two years on an alternative teaching-load policy. The university’s faculty senate, which represents all Wright State faculty members, voted in favor of the policy recommended by this committee. However, the university’s administration decided to ignore the senate’s recommendation and imposed the new teaching-load policy.
The election took place over a period of approximately two weeks, with voting conducted by mail. The administration sent three letters to eligible voters, urging them to vote against representation. The rejection of the administration’s position signals the deep concern that this group of faculty members has about the weakening of the university’s primary mission of teaching undergraduate students.