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:

Congratulations To Our New Board Members!

Congratulations to our newly elected President, Leonore Fleming, our newly elected Vice President, Doug Edwards, our newly elected Treasurer, John Peter, and our newly elected Members-At-Large, Deborah Pollack, Jeffrey Miller, and Amy Lindsey, who will take office on July 1, 2022.

Beginning July 1, the AAUP-UC Governing Board for 2022-2023 is:

Governing Board Officers:

  • President: Leonore Fleming, Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Vice President: Doug Edwards, Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Treasurer: John Peter, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Secretary: Jim Brown, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice 
  • Past President: Adam Pack, Professor of Biology
  • Past Treasurer: Xiao Xiao, Professor of Mathematics

Governing Board Members-At-Large:

  • Linnéa Franits, Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy
  • Ariel Gratch, Assistant Professor of Communication Arts
  • Amy Lindsey, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Jeffrey Miller, Associate Professor of Communication Arts
  • Deborah Pollack, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Daniel Tagliarina, Associate Professor of Political Science

We also want to take a moment to thank Adam Pack, whose second term as President ends on June 30, 2022. During his four years as President, he was an exceptional leader, and he led us through countless pandemic-related challenges with courage. His hard work and clear guidance over the past four years will not be forgotten.

We would also like to thank Xiao Xiao, who has been an incredibly organized and dependable treasurer for many years, as well as an important voice on the governing board (and now on the negotiating team).

Finally, we would like to thank John Cormican, Chris Tingley, and Tom Rossi, whose terms end on June 30, 2022, for their service on the Governing Board. We really appreciate their dedication to the union and their efforts to make our union stronger.

Solidarity Sunday – May 15 2022 – In Memoriam: Jim Scannell

There will be a lot said about Jim Scannell over the coming days, weeks, semesters etc. His teaching, his life, and the influence he had on so many grateful Utica students over the years. For this edition of Solidarity Sunday, we on the governing board wanted people – especially members who have joined us since 2010 – to reflect particularly on the major role Jim played in our union, including during one of the most contentious negotiations of the millennium.  

-President Adam Pack, May 15 2022

Congratulations to the 2022 AAUP-UC Scholarship Winners!

The Virgil C. Crisafulli Scholarship for leadership and service in the spirit of the AAUP was awarded to Jordyn Bucci-Mooney, nominated by Professor Jim Smith.

The Robert W. Millett Scholarship for Academic Achievement was awarded to Joslyn Phalen, nominated by Professor Elizabeth Threadgill.

Congrats to our winners!

About AAUP-UC Scholarships

Two $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually at the AAUP-UC spring luncheon. AAUP-UC members are invited to nominate worthy Utica College students who:

  • Are in at least their second semester at Utica College, and
  • Have not yet completed their undergraduate degree, and
  • Need to complete at least 12 credits after the spring semester to earn their undergraduate degree, and
  • Have not already been awarded a scholarship by the AAUP-UC.

While any nominee should have both an outstanding academic record and an interest in service to the community, the emphasis is different, with the Millett scholarship highlighting the academic and the Crisafulli highlighting service. A subcommittee of the governing board reviews the nominations and determines the winners of the scholarships.

The Virgil C. Crisafulli Scholarship is awarded each year to a student for demonstrated outstanding leadership in regard to at least one of the AAUP’s core values such as academic freedom, professional responsibility, civic service, humanitarian concern for others, and solidarity with those who share the common goals of equity and voice for all.

The Robert W. Millett Scholarship is awarded each year to a student for academic excellence reflecting the values of the AAUP: respect for open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas; the right to self-expression; integrity in scholarly endeavors; and support for academic freedom.

Your Weingarten Rights Turned 47 Today!!!

Forty-seven years ago, on Feb. 19, 1975, the Supreme Court ruled that an employee has the right to request union representation in any meeting that she or he feels could result in discipline or termination.

You Are Being Asked Questions That Might Lead To Disciplinary Action: What Do You Do?

If you believe that discipline will result from a meeting with management/administration (in legalese, “an investigatory interview”), you can insist that a union representative be present during this interview. This is part of your “Weingarten Rights,” which references the 1975 United States Supreme Court case NLRB vs. Weingarten. Weingarten Rights apply only to members of a collective bargaining unit and are among the many benefits of having a union.

When an investigatory interview occurs, the following rules apply:

Rule 1) – You must make a clear request for effective union representation before or during the interview. Often an employee may not know at the outset that a meeting with management could lead to discipline. If such a meeting is or becomes an “investigatory interview,” you should assert your right to have a union officer of your choosing present. You cannot be punished for making this request. (Note: If the union representative of your choice is not available in a reasonable time period, it may be necessary for an alternative union officer to represent you.)

A typical Weingarten request would be: “If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative be present at this meeting. Until my union representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion.” Or you may simply say, “I want my union representative here.”

Rule 2) – After you make this request, the interviewer has three options:

a. Grant the request and delay the interview until your union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with you. (Note: The right to representation is the right to effective representation, which translates in this rule as the right to consult privately with the representative before the interview. The union representative should also know what the meeting is about ahead of time so that he/she can effectively advise you.)

b. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or

c. Give you a choice of: (I) having the interview continue without representation or (II) ending the interview. (Note: It is not wise to choose the first option.)

Rule 3) – If the interviewer denies your request and continues to ask questions, this is an unfair labor practice. You have the right not to answer any questions until you have union representation. You cannot be disciplined for refusing to answer the questions, but you are required to sit there until the supervisor terminates the interview. Leaving before this happens may constitute punishable insubordination in some cases.

The AAUP-UC represents all members of the bargaining unit, both those who pay dues and those who do not, and is obligated to come to your aid without prejudice. If you are summoned to a meeting with a member of administration and discover that it is an “investigatory interview,” assert your right to have a union representative present.

Download a printable PDF of this information here