June 26, 2017

AAUP Update: Welcome Back!

Hello Colleagues and welcome to the beginning of our Spring 2014 semester,

We are off to a very wintery start which, at this time, has required us to cancel our mid-year meeting. The purpose of this email is to provide you with brief updates on personnel changes, contract violations, and academic restructuring.

1. Personnel Changes – On November 15 2014, the interim Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Sanjay Rai, announced his appointment of interim associate senior vice president for academic affairs, Ms. Carolyn Terry.  The AAUP executive committee wishes to congratulate Ms. Terry on her new appointment. Ms. Terry has been a full-time faculty member in the English discipline, a department chair of English, and, of course, the dean of humanities at the Rockville Campus. She has shown a strong  understanding of academia, an ability to lead, and dedication to students in both her faculty and administrative roles.  As we have stated in previous emails, oftentimes the most effective administrators come from the Montgomery College faculty, and we are pleased to see Ms. Terry as a key voice in creating a strong and stable office of the vice president. We wish the best of luck to Ms. Terry in her new position.

2.  Contract Violations – As reported in previous updates, early in the fall semester we noticed two potential contract violations.  One of these violations dealt with the lengthening of our academic calendar and the other concerned distance learning.  After a semester long debate about the nature of these violations, we, along with our legal counsel, met with representatives of the college and their legal counsel on January 10.  Regarding the calendar issue, there still seems to be some disagreement on the methods used to count the number of days in an academic year.  Both parties agreed to reevaluate their methods.  Regarding the distance education issue, both parties agreed that implementation of new methods of distance education not covered in our current contract (specifically, our distance learning side letter) will be put on hold until representatives from the faculty and the administration can update the side letter to reflect these new technological instructional delivery systems. This group has already been formed and has begun scheduling dates in order to finish the update quickly and efficiently.  At the end of our meeting we asked HR to provide an official written response to the violations. We are still awaiting that response and we will update you once it is received.

3.  Academic Restructuring – Many of you are anxious to see the final results of the recommendations put forth by the academic restructuring workgroups.  The amount of work that has gone into each one of the workgroups is extraordinary with many participants putting in extra time throughout the holiday break.  Dr. Rai and his office has done a tremendous job organizing the recommendations into a single coherent vision for our college.  Since mid-November we have witnessed great efforts to make the restructuring process more inclusive and more responsive.  The final recommendation reports will be released and discussed this week, and the representatives of AAUP are eager to hear your thoughts.  While we still disagree with the motive and reasoning behind moving department chairs out of the AAUP bargaining unit, we are encouraged by some of the compromises we have seen and are excited about moving forward.  We will be meeting with Dr. Rai early on in the spring semester to deal more directly with changes that impact the contractual side of the restructuring and, of course, many of the changes will need to ultimately be decided during our negotiations next year.

On behalf of the AAUP executive committee,

Dan

Dan Wilson, Associate Professor
President – AAUP
Chair – Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice
Suite 224 (Room 234) Humanities Building
Montgomery College – Rockville, MD
240-567-7486 (Office)

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