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:


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:



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.


Utica University’s Student-Run News Source, The Tangerine, Reports on the Academic Program Review

On December 8, 2022, the Utica University Student-Run News Source, The Tangerine, reported on the Academic Program Review at Utica University, “spurred by a Board of Trustees resolution, which has caused unrest and questions on campus.”

That Board of Trustees Resolution on Academic Program Review (August 19, 2022) states:

Whereas shifting enrollment patterns and a significant decline in enrollment have resulted in an unsustainable faculty-to-student ratio at the university; and


Whereas the current academic program portfolio no longer reflects prospective student recruitment interests regionally or nationally; and


Whereas the current academic program portfolio no longer reflects the credentials most sought by employers in the region or nationally;


Be it resolved, the Board of Trustees of Utica University direct the administration to undertake an academic portfolio review designed to provide recommendations for any changes to credentials offered by the institution, including possible program design, redesign, or elimination.

Recommendations are to be delivered to the Trustees at the February 2023 board meeting.

The Tangerine article includes interviews with faculty and students, as well as an interview with the Provost, Todd Pfannestiel.

Read More Details in the Full Article Here.

https://uticatangerine.com/11933/news/11933/

Three Faculty Senate Resolutions about the Confidential Presidential Search Sent to the Board of Trustees

On Thursday, November 3, the voting members of the Utica University Faculty Senate received the following message from the Faculty Senate Presiding Officer:

On October 19, 2022, at a Special Meeting of the Faculty Senate, we passed Resolutions #2022-001 and #2022-002. At a subsequent meeting on October 26, 2022, we passed Resolution #2022-003. Copies of each of those resolutions are attached hereto.

Please be advised that all three (3) resolutions were communicated to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees on Monday, October 31, 2022. This morning, I received a confirmation email from the Board Secretary indicating that the resolutions were electronically communicated to the Board.

The three resolutions passed by the Faculty Senate are below:



Utica University’s Student-Run News Source, The Tangerine, Reports on the Confidential Presidential Search

On October 20, 2022, the Utica University Student-Run News Source, The Tangerine, reported on the AAUP-UC’s October 16, 2022 open letter urging the Board of Trustees to reconsider their decision to conduct a confidential search for the next Utica University president and conduct an open and fully transparent final selection process. The Tangerine article includes Bob Brvenik’s response to the AAUP-UC letter as well as the Utica University Faculty Senate’s resolution stating that the response by the Board of Trustees did not “adequately address the concerns raised by the AAUP-UC.”

Read The Full Article Here

https://uticatangerine.com/11818/news/confidential-presidential-search-raises-concerns-on-university-campus/#

Utica University Faculty Senate Unanimously Passes Resolution Endorsing AAUP-UC Open Letter

At the October 19, 2022 Special Faculty Senate Meeting, called by petition to discuss issues related to the Presidential Search Committee, the Faculty Senate unanimously passed the following resolution:

The Utica University Faculty Senate endorses the October 16, 2022 AAUP-UC Open Letter to the Chairperson of the Presidential Search Committee. The response by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees dated October 19, 2022, does not adequately address the concerns raised by the AAUP-UC.

Additional updates from the October 19 meeting, as well as future Faculty Senate Meetings, will be reported as they become available.

Read the AAUP-UC Open Letter.

Read the Chairman of the Board of Trustees Response.


Utica University Chairman of the Board of Trustees Responds to AAUP-UC Open Letter

On October 16, 2022, the AAUP-UC Governing Board sent an open letter to Heidi Hoeller, Chairperson of the Presidential Search Committee, and Bob Brvenik, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, urging them to reconsider their decision to conduct a confidential search for the next Utica University president and conduct an open and fully transparent final selection process.

On October 19, 2022, the AAUP-UC received a response from Bob Brvenik, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, via the Special Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Trustees, Anthony Villanti.

The AAUP-UC feels this is a wholly inadequate response, and it’s unfortunate that the reply from the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees did not address our specific concerns with a confidential search process.

Download the PDF or read the full letter below:


AAUP-UC Letter Calling for an Open and Transparent Presidential Search

On October 16, 2022, the AAUP-UC Governing Board sent an open letter to Heidi Hoeller, Chairperson of the Presidential Search Committee, and Bob Brvenik, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, urging them to reconsider their decision to conduct a confidential search for the next Utica University president and conduct an open and fully transparent final selection process.

Download the PDF or read the full letter below: