AAUP-Utica Files Demand for Arbitration

On Tuesday, March, 7, 2023, the AAUP-Utica’s lawyer filed a Demand for Arbitration per Step 4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 16. Grievance Procedure). This demand for arbitration is an escalation of the Grievance that was filed on January 10 about the violation of shared governance as stipulated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, specifically, the University’s refusal to follow the faculty senate bylaws and procedures, and the University’s refusal to involve the curriculum committee or follow the curriculum committee’s procedures or guidelines during the Fall 2022 Academic Program Portfolio Review recommendation process.

Rather than attempt to work with the AAUP-Utica or try to resolve the grievance in any of the three prior steps of the grievance process, the University instead delayed in responding to the union at each step and proceeded to present these recommendations to the Board of Trustees in mid-February despite the loud opposition from university constituents including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and larger Utica-Rome community members.

The Board of Trustees voted on the recommendations in mid-February without even acknowledging the fact that there is an ongoing grievance objecting to the manner in which the entire process was handled.

A national arbitrator will now investigate the entire Academic Program Portfolio Review Process and it’s legitimacy in terms of whether or not it comports with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the AAUP-Utica was provided a case number by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The AAUP-Utica and the University now have until March 20, 2023, to respond to the AAA with their arbitrator preferences. 

Arbitrations typically take a few months in order to thoroughly investigate and acquire all necessary documentation, as well as find a time that all parties are available to meet for arbitration.

This is a developing story and more updates will follow.

Rally to Save Utica! Video Summary and News Round Up

Click the Facebook Post Above or Click Here to Watch the Save Utica! Rally Summary Video.

We also have livestream footage of the entire four-hour event on our Instagram: @aauputica, and The Tangerine did a great job documenting the event and recording the individual speeches as well. You can watch their videos from the event on their Instagram using the links below: 

Finally, make sure to check out the great news coverage of the event by clicking the pictures below: 

Or click the links directly:

Rally To Save Utica! This Friday During Utica University Board of Trustees Meetings

Come Out To Support Utica University Faculty, Students, Staff, and Alumni!

The Utica University Board of Trustees will be on campus this coming Friday, Feb. 17 and will be voting on whether or not to eliminate majors in Chemistry, Physics (BA), Geoscience, Philosophy, Spanish, International Studies, Therapeutic Recreation, Healthcare Management, Nutrition, Sociology & Anthropology, and more. As well as voting to modify English, History, Math, Political Science, Accounting, and others.

Please consider joining our Rally to Save Utica on Friday morning (stop by any time between 8:30am-12:30pm) to support the Utica University Faculty, Students, Staff and Alumni and help us make our voices heard!

This event is open to anyone and everyone. It’s a chance for faculty, students, staff, alumni and community members to come together and support one another.

Schedule of speakers and events will be released as soon as available.

Location Information:
*Directions to Duffy Plaza (outside Boehlert Hall) at Utica University*

Sign up for updates and RSVP heretinyurl.com/SaveUticaRally

RSVP to the Facebook Event here: https://fb.me/e/3e4YWvFdS

Learn more athttps://aauputica.org/

Email: aauputica@gmail.com with any questions

Follow @aauputica on Instagram to watch the Livestream

AAUP-Utica President, Vice President, and numerous faculty and librarians deliver petition and letters condemning proposed cuts to University President and Board of Trustees

February 9, 2023, 4:00PM, Office of the President at Utica University:

AAUP Utica/AFT 6786 President Leonore Fleming and Vice President Douglas Edwards, accompanied by a number of Utica University Faculty and Librarians, deliver the Save Utica! Stop the Cuts!” Petition, that had gathered over 1302 signatures at the time of delivery. Nine letters from local, regional, and national associations were also delivered to Anthony M. Villanti, Special Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees.

“As president of the AAUP-Utica, I beg the Utica University President and the Board of Trustees to read these documents, to listen to these diverse voices, and think critically about the points that are being raised. We ask not just to be heard, but to be provided answers.”

– AAUP-Utica President Leonore Fleming

“The administration and the board have bypassed clearly established curricular processes in the union’s collective bargaining agreement, the Faculty Senate Bylaws, and established Curriculum Committee procedures, announcing on January 18, 2023 the proposed elimination of 15 majors and significant and mandatory modifications of eight others.”

– New York State Conference of the AAUP

Letters in the delivery to the University President and Board of Trustees Include (click the links to read the letters in their entirety):

The Utica University Faculty, Librarians and Students are so thankful for the support from the 1300+ people who signed the “Save Utica! Stop the Cuts!” petition as well as the support from the nine organizations who wrote and sent in letters.

“Utica University describes itself as an institution that provides ‘outstanding educational pathways’ and values ‘Intellectual growth, creativity, and scholarship in the pursuit of knowledge… Freedom of expression and civil discourse… [and] Ethical behavior and integrity.’ It would be difficult to argue that Utica University is living up to these values or fulfilling its commitment to a comprehensive liberal arts education were it to eliminate its philosophy major.”

– American Philosophical Association

Utica University Program Elimination News Round Up

Catch up on what’s been going on at Utica University since the announcement on January 18, 2023 by Utica University’s outgoing president, Laura Casamento, and the outgoing Board of Trustees Chair, Bob Brvenik, to eliminate 15 majors as well as their recommendation that 8 more majors and 1 program be revised or else perhaps risk being eliminated.

Click the images below to read the following news stories:


Download the January 25, 2023 Faculty Senate Censure of the Board of Trustees Here or read it below:

AAUP-Utica President Responds to Utica University’s Announcement to Eliminate 15 Majors

Utica University’s outgoing president, Laura Casamento, and the outgoing Board of Trustees Chair, Bob Brvenik, announced their recommendation today to eliminate 15 majors as well as their recommendation that 8 more majors and 1 program be revised or else perhaps risk being eliminated.

This announcement comes amid a grievance that the AAUP-Utica filed on January 10, 2023 over the University’s failure to follow proper shared governance procedures as specified in the AAUP-Utica’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The AAUP-Utica is currently awaiting Provost Pfannestiel’s response to Step 2 of the Grievance Procedure as outlined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The AAUP-Utica President, Leonore Fleming, responds to the University’s “Red Wednesday” Announcement in the following video message sent to Utica University bargaining unit members:

Latest NY Academe Issue Covers Confidential Presidential Search at Utica University

The newest issue of NY Academe, VOL 46, No 4, Winter 2023, includes the article “Confidential Presidential Search Underway at Utica University” written by AAUP Utica/AFT 6786 President Leonore Fleming. Among other things, the article includes a timeline of events from October 2022 under the section titled “A Timeline of Shared Governance in Decline.”

Read the article and access the entire Winter 2023 issue on the New York State AAUP Conference Website HERE.

Download a mobile version of “Confidential Presidential Search Underway at Utica University” HERE or read it below.

AAUP-Utica Files Grievance Over University’s Failure to Follow Proper Shared Governance Procedures

On January 10, 2023, AAUP-Utica filed a formal grievance over the University’s failure to follow the procedures of the Faculty Senate by-laws as specified in Article 7, GOVERNANCE, Section 7.1, Faculty Senate Committees, of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This grievance is in accordance with Article 16 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, specifically, Step 2.

It is the position of the AAUP-Utica that the contract requires that the Curriculum Committee consider matters related to the curriculum of the University. This includes the current Academic Program Review Recommendations and any and all proposals to design, redesign or eliminate programs or majors.

Additionally, the Curriculum Committee’s Function and Authority is stated clearly in the Faculty Senate Bylaws:

Function and Authority: shall receive, consider and/or initiate all requests for, or studies of, new or revised curriculum changes, including the general education program, majors, minors, special programs, courses, course credit, descriptions, numbers, titles, methods of instruction, graduation requirements and all standards and policies pertaining to the same; consider what changes are academically wise, financially practicable and within the mission of the College; and report and recommend the same to the Faculty Senate.

Download the January 10 Grievance Letter or read the full letter below: