Arm yourself … with argument:
“LEO’s Vision of a Better University: What We Want and Why it Matters
by Ian Robinson
You’ve heard what our proposals are, and you’ve heard how the Administration is responding to them – respectfully, but very cautiously. I think it is relatively easy to imagine how our proposals on job security, job titles, promotion and compensation – the heart of this round of bargaining — if implemented, will transform our own work lives at this University for the better.
I want to address the wider implications of what we’re pursuing – in particular, how our proposals offer important, positive answers to four problems currently plaguing our university system.
Our proposals address four problems that, in the larger scheme of things, are at least as important as improving our personal situation, because they will positively affect so many lives beyond our own. Successfully addressing these problems ought to matter to us, as professionals with a commitment to truth, as citizens committed to a society in which free inquiry and debate informs all public policy making, and as people with a commitment to promote respect for basic worker rights and a more just society.
1. Our proposal will move us toward putting excellent teaching on a par with excellent research in this university. …
2. Our proposal will move us toward more comprehensive and effective protection of “academic freedom” at this university. …
3. Our proposal will help another important part of the UM community – our graduate students — by creating a viable career alternative to the current situation of intensified competition for a diminishing number of starting level, tenure track jobs. …
4. Our proposal, if realized, will inspire non tenure-track faculty elsewhere to organize, and provide them with a model for what to do with that power once they acquire it. … “