March 19, 2018

Update on union recent activities

Since presenting the faculty’s concerns to the Board of Trustees two weeks ago, the AAUP has continued to work to ensure that the administration better understands the issues we voiced there. While we have on several occasions further explained these concerns, recent communications leave me troubled and anticipating that a lot of work remains to convince the senior administration of the legitimacy of these concerns and the need to remedy them.

Some of the recent conversations include:
> A couple of days following the comments to the Board, several members of the Chapter executive committee met with Dr. Pollard and her academic leadership team. Discussion there centered on breakdowns in communication and the lack of appropriate faculty involvement in decision making.

> Last Monday, the AAUP-administration collaboration committee met. One of the tasks this group has been working on this semester is clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the full-time faculty.

> On Monday was also held a regularly scheduled meeting of the presidents of the three employee unions with Dr. Pollard. Discussion there included the impact of turnover of administrators and how it affects the formal and informal lines of communication at the College.

> On Tuesday, representatives of the AAUP and the administration met to discuss the difference in perceptions held by the faculty and the administration on the size of the administration relative to the overall size of the institution.
During this time as well, the faculty members of the academic restructuring committee continued to work with the resource members from the AAUP to develop proposals that incorporate the feedback that they have heard and that can be incorporated into the work of the restructuring committee.

Finally, in the midst of all of this, the night after the speech to the Board I testified at the County Council in support of the College’s budget request. While this is not directly related to the other recent discussions and meetings, I mention it here as another example of the faculty standing up for the good of the College and of the union touting the excellence of our faculty. That testimony is available on the Chapter website.

Update on the Restructuring

Thank you for the steady flow of concerns regarding the academic restructuring that you have shared with the AAUP leadership before, during, and since our meeting last week. We take these concerns very seriously and are doing our best to fully and effectively represent them to both the senior administration and the Board of Trustees. I’d like to share some of the efforts that we have undertaken and plans that we have going forward.

This coming Monday, April 8, is the next meeting of the Board. I have requested time to speak during the open comments period at the beginning of this meeting to relay those concerns that we have heard so clearly and share. I encourage each of you to attend in a show of strength and solidarity. The meeting is scheduled to start at 8:15 pm in the Board Room in the Mannakee building.

Yesterday morning I met with Dr. Pollard. During this meeting we talked at great length about how angry so many of the faculty are regarding both the process and apparent direction in which the restructuring is headed, and I emphasized the feeling of marginalization that is so prevalent. I have also been continuing the research I mentioned last week on practices at other multi-campus, unionized institutions and expect to have more to say based on that by the time of the Board meeting.

The full AAUP executive committee has remained very involved in the efforts. We have had numerous discussions on how to best advocate on this matter, and have scheduled an emergency meeting for tomorrow. In addition, we are working on a compilation of the written and oral feedback that we have received. Our plan is to edit these only to remove references that may identify the speaker or other specific individuals and then post these to our website. If you shared anything that you would rather not be made public even anonymously please contact me by email ASAP, and we will respect your wishes. Should you prefer, you may also contact me at or my personal email address, Please also consider sending to me, if you have not already done so, specific issues and actions that I could include when I speak before the Board. The more examples I am able to include which illustrate why we are feeling angry, distrustful, and marginalized, the more effective our case will be.

Your union leadership genuinely appreciates all of the feedback we have received and wants to assure you that we are working diligently to represent your concerns as effectively as possible.

Union Meeting on Academic Restructuring

Thank you to the many of you who have shared your thoughts and concerns on the academic area restructuring with the union. I hope you have also taken the opportunity to communicate directly with the task force and Dr. Pearl. In response to the many requests that the AAUP has received to further discuss this issue, and in recognition of the significant impact that the restructuring will have on our jobs, the executive committee of the AAUP invites all members of the AAUP to a special union meeting on Thursday, March 28, from 4-5 pm in the Theater Arts Arena on the Rockville Campus. At this meeting we will share the specific concerns that we have as a union and discuss the feedback that we have received from you.
I hope to see many of you then. In the meantime, please keep the feedback coming, and have a great spring break.

Rick Penn


There will be a question and answer session on Tuesday Oct. 11th  11:00 – 12:00.  Please feel free to drop by and bring questions for representatives of the AAUP Executive committee.  

Save the date:  October 11th 11:00 – 12:00  HU009. 

 Stephanie Pepin
Associate Professor, Mathematics
Rockville Campus
Montgomery College
240 – 567-5207