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April 12, 2018

FSU Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

April 12, 2018

Members Present: Marlene Kim; Peggy Walsh; Jeff Melnick; Askold Melnyczuk; Steve Striffler; Joseph Ramsey; Ellen Frank; Monique Fuguet; John Hess; Sofya Aptekar; Tina Mullins

Others Present: Lorenzo Nencioli, FSU Membership Coordinator; Jeff Keisler, FSU TT Grievance Officer

  1. Approval of the agenda- Motion to approve agenda made. Motion to move item #9 to after #5 made. Motion seconded. Motion passes. Revised agenda approved.
  2. Approval of the minutes- Motion to approve minutes of 4/5/18 Ex Com meeting made. Motion seconded. Motion passes.
  3. FSU budgetMotion to recommend $36 annual FSU dues increase for FY19. Motion seconded. Motion passes.


   4. Mt. Ida purchase discussion and possible actions- Motion to go into executive session. Motion seconded. Motion passes.


      Agreement to ask FSU members to attend Board of Higher Education meeting on 4/24/18; Jeff M and Monique will find out when senate hearing on this will be; reach out to UMA colleagues for joint statement, reach out to MA legislators. Jeff Melnick will get UMB Poli Sci ‘cheat sheet’ on this issue, send to Ex Com. Discussion of need for messaging by next Wednesday. Joe Ramsey, Marlene Kim, Jeff Melnick, Jeff K.  will help draft this. Sofya Aptekar will contact members in Nursing.

   5. All In- John Hess discusses All-In strategy, asks Ex Com members to talk to at least 10 people and hands out unit list for people to note whom they will contact.  Ex Comm agrees.   

   5. Approval of FSU delegates to MTA Annual Meeting- Joe R. and Linda Liu, will be added as delegates. Monique Fuguet will not be a delegate. Motion to approve FSU delegates as below and anyone else        who volunteers. Motion seconded. Motion passes (list is below):

Peggy Walsh

Rachel Rubin

Doreen Drury

Heike Schotten

Carlos Siqueira

Sandra Howland

John Hess

Sofya Aptekar

Amy Todd

Caroline Coscia

Phil Chassler

Ursula Tafe

Marlene Kim

Joseph Ramsey

Linda Liu

      7. Elections Committee report requests that Caroline and Sofya gather information on campaign activities/policies of other unions, including timetables.  Given this is outside the elections committee               purview, we should approve of this. Motion to approve. Motion seconded. Motion passes.

      8. Consider adopting a formal policy regarding decision-making (voting) via email. (continued)— Discussion of possible policies. Need for relevant subject lines. Monique Fuguet, Tina Mullins, Marlene           will work on this with Lorenzo.

      9. Centers and Institutes at UMB- discussion and approval of draft statement [DRAFT STATEMENT BELOW]-  Discussion of draft statement, suggested edits. Motion to have Jeff Melnick, Joe Ramsey                  redraft statement, send back to Ex Com to vote for by email. Motion seconded. Motion approved.


      10. Bargaining update-  Motion to go into executive session. Motion seconded. Motion passes. 

      11. Non CLA Advisory Committee- Marlene reports on current members. Darren Kew, Laurie Milliken, Christian Weller, Gillian MacNaughton, Pratyush Bharati will be on committee. Discussion of need         for reps from CSM, CEHD. Committee will begin work (may not occur until Fall 18) so committee will continue next year.

      12. MTA Annual meeting- Discussion of meeting, importance of voting.



The FSU would like to offer an energetic statement of support for the work of the campus's Centers and Institutes which, individually and in the aggregate are crucial to the urban mission of University of Massachusetts Boston and to the work we do as faculty at Boston's only public research university. The Interim Chancellor's recent announcement of a plan to defund the Centers and Institutes constitutes a shortsighted and devastating attack on the core activities of the faculty, including graduate and undergraduate teaching as well as their own research work—work that every single day contributes to the cultural, intellectual, and economic life of the Commonwealth.  The Centers and Institutes do work crucial to the recruiting and retention of particular demographic groups—students from historically underrepresented groups, military veterans, first generation undergraduate and graduate school students—that UMB has, since its founding, been committed to serving. 


            *The Executive Committee of the FSU condemns the manipulative zero-sum calculation

              embodied by the Interim Chancellor's announcement


            *Further the Executive Committee calls on the Interim Chancellor to press pause and allow                           the incoming new administration to engage an independent audit of the plan


            *The FSU will energetically fight any implementation of this plan that interferes with the                teaching and research that form the core mission of UMB


In his statement the Interim Chancellor argues that Centers and Institutes “produce a budget shortfall” each year and contribute to a budget gap that represents a large percentage of what the university can offer in need-based financial aid. Juxtaposing the funding of the Centers and Institutes against the funding of need-based financial aid represents a cynical rhetorical ploy, harmfully pitting students and faculty against each other.  Further, the Interim Chancellor's claim that “important work finds funding” is a barely-veiled call for the privatization of the public, urban mission of UMB.  Contemporaneous developments across the UMass system make it clear that the Interim Chancellor's austerity-based claims are, to say the least, misleading.


The Interim Chancellor's attack on Centers and Institutes is far from transparent with respect to financial fundamentals, but one thing is clear: since arriving in March 2017 the Interim Chancellor has not investigated the processes by which nationally-recognized scholars are drawn to work at UMB because of the presence of Centers and Institutes. If the external grant money these faculty members bring to the university were included in the Interim Chancellor's math, the financial picture would change considerably.  


The Centers and Institutes are core academic programs.  The FSU Executive Committee urges  the administration to work with us and with other on-campus groups as part of a shared process to address the budget problems the campus continues to face.  Doing so is the only way to avoid the turmoil and campus unrest that is sure to follow this hasty and shortsighted announcement.