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From Senior Vice President Nancy Pringle and Provost Linda Petrosino

The union representing part-time and full-time contingent faculty members at Ithaca College has continued to publicly misrepresent that three faculty on one-year temporary appointments were fired.   This is simply not true. All three of these individuals were on one-year, non-renewable term appointments which expire on May 31, 2017. The status of their yearly appointments was clearly articulated both verbally and in writing to each of them prior to the beginning of the contract period. That misrepresentation is the foundation of an unfair labor practice charge that was filed against the college with the National Labor Relations Board on March 8.

In order to make sure that the college community is aware of the facts of this issue, we wanted to provide the following information.

First and foremost, all faculty hiring decisions are made by faculty. The search and selection process for all faculty members involves faculty search committees soliciting candidates, interviewing candidates, and making semifinalist and finalist decisions on candidates. A recommendation to hire a candidate goes from the search committee to the Department Chair and to the Dean for final approval.

The only involvement by the Provost is to approve the salary and related conditions of the appointment and to issue the official letter of appointment. No other members of the college administration are involved in the hiring process.

During contract negotiations with contingent faculty, the union bargaining team attempted to diminish the rights of the permanent full-time faculty in hiring decisions as part of the contract. The college’s bargaining team rejected that proposal, so faculty decision-making on hiring is retained in the final approved contract.

Faculty search records for the Department of Physics and Astronomy indicate that David Kornreich applied for a full-time non-tenure-eligible notice position in the department. The faculty search committee did not move him forward to semifinalist status as a candidate. Shoshanna Cole applied for the same full-time NTEN position and was identified as a semifinalist. However, the faculty search committee did not move her candidacy forward as a finalist.

Rachel Gunderson received an appointment for the 2016–17 academic year in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education. She was informed in February of 2016 that this would be her final year in that position. This was prior to the formation of the bargaining unit for full-time faculty members, let alone the beginning of contract negotiations.

The union has also falsely claimed that the college has refused for over a month to respond to its request for a meeting to discuss the issues with the faculty members whose terms are ending at the conclusion of the academic year. On April 21, we met with two members of the union leadership team and a representative of the Service Employees International Union. We told them that we would discuss the topic of non-renewal after the college had filed its formal response to the unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB.

That filing took place on Monday, May 1. As indicated on April 21, we will now propose dates with the hope of finding a mutually agreeable time to hold this meeting.

Message to the Campus Community on Contingent Faculty and Hiring Process | 5 Comments |
The following comments are the opinions of the individuals who posted them. They do not necessarily represent the position of Intercom or Ithaca College, and the editors reserve the right to monitor and delete comments that violate College policies.
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Message to the Campus Community on Contingent Faculty and Hiring Process Comment from cedward1 on 05/03/17
As an alum and staff member, I am endlessly appalled by your treatment of the faculty on this campus.

Are you all tired of writing this nonsense? Because I am tired of reading it.
Message to the Campus Community on Contingent Faculty and Hiring Process Comment from rosentha on 05/03/17
It is worth noting that at various stages of a search that Human Resources, the dean, and the provost need to approve faculty search committee recommendations. It has been my experience that such approval concerns trying to achieve diversity and fairness. And it has been my experience that such approval is virtually always given. And so although ultimate authority for faculty searches is with administrators, effective authority is with faculty.
Message to the Campus Community on Contingent Faculty and Hiring Process Comment from rellis on 05/04/17
The NLRB has consistently held that terminating contract employees (who have a reasonable likelihood of having their contracts renewed) for organizing activities is illegal. As employees who had received strong evaluations and had been renewed over many years, the IC administration will lose this case, just as they have lost all the others (diversity, seeking to prevent a union, etc.), in the court of public opinion, even if they prevail in labor administrative court, where they will have spent a fortune on outside labor lawyers.

For just once, IC administration, do the RIGHT thing before exhausting all other options and rehire the three quality professors who stood up for what they believed.
Message to the Campus Community on Contingent Faculty and Hiring Process Comment from ytang on 05/04/17
+1 !
Message to the Campus Community on Contingent Faculty and Hiring Process Comment from ytang on 05/04/17
+1