Dear Faculty and Librarians,
Hope you are all doing well during this tumultuous time.
I’ve heard from a lot of FSU members in the past two weeks about a range of concerns: about how we, as faculty, can (or cannot) develop fully functional online courses within a week as our workplaces and lives are upended; about our students, who face a range of challenges as they attempt to finish the semester and keep their lives together; about our staff, who have raised serious issues around workplace safety, working conditions, and job security as we move to working remotely. The challenges are immense. There is nothing normal about this rapidly changing situation.
As many of you have noted, now is the time for compassion and flexibility – for ourselves, for our students, and for all those within and beyond the university community. It is more important than ever that FSU members remain engaged in our union and work with students as well as other campus unions — the PSU, CSU, GEO and DCU — to push the administration in this general direction. This is true regardless of the specific issues that may emerge, whether we are talking about expanding P/F options for students; extending tenure clocks for junior faculty; insuring job security for all faculty, and particularly NTTs; making sure that staff are given the freedom and resources they need to do their jobs remotely; or any number of concerns that will inevitably emerge as this fluid situation shifts.
My term as FSU President does not begin until the end of May, but I look forward to working together through and beyond this semester in order to insure that all faculty and staff remain employed, fairly compensated, and sufficiently supported; that we work under safe and respectful conditions; and that we are able to help students not only receive an education, but navigate these difficult times.
Please stay tuned for information from the FSU about how to “attend” the union’s Annual Meeting on April 30th. Although we will not meet in person this semester, this meeting remains an important chance to discuss the future of our union and university. In the meantime, I can of course be found on email!
Director, Labor Resource Center