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February 17, 2022

FSU Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

February 17, 2022 (Zoom)

Executive Committee Members Present: Steve Striffler; Caroline Coscia; Lynne Benson; Dana Commesso; Sana Haroon; Jessica Holden; Monique Fuguet; Travis Johnston; Meghan Kallman; Linda Liu; José Martinez-Reyes; Jeff Melnick; Tim Sieber

Others Present: Lorenzo Nencioli (FSU Senior Staff Member); Maria Brincker; Elizabeth Bussiere; Jonathan Chu; Sari Edelstein; Adres Henao Castro; Maria Ivanova; Zsuzsa Kaldy; Janna Kellinger; Sharon Lamb; Heather MacIndoe; Suzanne Morris; Denise Patmon; Alejandro Reuss; Lorna Rivera; Liz Roemer; John Saltmarsh; Heike Schotten; Manu Thakral; Amy Todd; Tony Van Der Meer; Victoria Weston; Heather Zaykowski; David (last name?)

  1. Approve Minutes and Agenda: Motion to approve agenda. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously. Motion to approve minutes of the February 11 Executive Committee meeting. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  2. AFR – Community Engagement (Tim Sieber/John Saltmarsh): Tim and John lead discussion regarding inclusion of community engagement in the AFR. It has been difficult in registering this activity as being noticed and tracked. There is an issue where if a faculty member prints the AFR report that will go to their DPC or Chair, information regarding community engagement does not show up on the printed report. Inclusion of community engagement in the AFR is meant to widen number of faculty whose performance is seen as meritorious. The Administration is not cooperating on this issue. Motion for FSU to support addition of community engagement to the AFR and to urge that the Administration fix the problem with printing to ensure that this information is visible on the printed form. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  3. Proposal to Racial Justice Commission for Undoing Racism Training (see appended proposal below): Discussion of proposal: “Undoing Racism Training for 2022 from the Africana Studies Department, Undoing Racism Assembly, Faculty Staff Union, Center of Innovative Teaching, and the Office for Faculty Development.” Racial Justice Commission has $275,000 that can be devoted to a range of issues regarding antiracism. This proposal uses some of that money for the People’s Institute trainings to train 125 people in spring, summer, and fall semesters of 2022. Intention is for faculty and staff at all levels to be involved in training. Motion for FSU to endorse this proposal. Motion seconded. Motion passes unanimously.

  4. Chancellor/Provost Joint Letter: Discussion of February 10 letter. FSU will draft a response letter.
  5. Elections Update: Deadline for nominations does not need to be extended. There is at least one competitive election during this cycle. CLRs: by March 21 FSU needs to inform Admin who will be using CLRs/stipends for fall, which depends on election results. CLRs for grievance officers, President, and Vice President. Steve and Caroline have only taken CLRs in the spring semesters (they chose not to take one in the fall). We only get five CLRs for the academic year. This semester one is going to FSU organizer Chris Fung. Elections play a role every spring in CLR distribution for the fall. Executive Committee policy states that Ex Comm approves CLRs.

  6. Budget Update: FSU is working on the annual budget with some questions out to MSP. We share a bookkeeper with MSP. MTA is not proposing a dues increase this year. We don’t yet know if NEA will raise dues. We have always paid grievance officer stipends out of our budget. The new contract states that stipends will be raised from $3,000 to $4,000. Our budget might be tight this year. We might consider raising dues to build up reserves and account for cost of living raises for FSU staff.

  7. FSU Forums - Issues Beyond Bargaining: Potential FSU forum topics:
  • Gender equity
  • International faculty and/or immigration issues more broadly
  • Role of caregivers and how caregiving intersects with work life
  • Racial equity and racial justice
  • Access to/way of connecting with queer faculty – establish a queer affinity group/support network

8. HELU winter summit: HELU is holding a winter summit on February 23-27, 2002: “Confronting the Crisis in Higher Education.”


Phase One: Undoing Racism Training for 2022

from the Africana Studies Department, Undoing Racism Assembly, Faculty Staff Union, Center of Innovative Teaching, and the Office for Faculty Development

Proposal Recommendation and Description:  

On behalf of the Undoing Racism Assembly, the Faculty Staff Union, the Center of Innovative Teaching, and the Office for Faculty Development, we are proposing a series of six Undoing Racism Trainings by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond ( over the course of 2022. A national organization with over forty years of conducting Undoing Racism workshops and trainings for national organizations, foundations, and numerous educational institutions, the People’s Institute has a core team of multi-racial organizers and trainers who are experienced at addressing systemic racism with various communities and constituencies. Their workshops are designed to:

  • “Develop a common language and analysis for examining racism in the United States;”
  • “Understand the historical context for how racial classifications in the United States came to be and how and why they are maintained;”
  • “Address surface assumptions about how your work is (or is not) affected by racism;”
  • “Develop awareness and understanding about how racism is manifesting in people’s lives and work, and how to begin to organize to Undoing Racism®;
  • “Understand the role of community organizing and building effective multiracial coalitions as a means for Undoing Racism®”

They have worked with Columbia College, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, Simmons College, Salem State College, Tulane University, Seattle Public Schools, the Indianapolis School district and numerous other educational institutions and universities as well as with other entities such as the Boston Department of Public Health and the Barr and Haymarket Foundations. Two specific testimonials, attesting to the importance of the People’s Institute’s work with higher education institutions, are:

            “The reason we chose to do the Undoing Racism® workshops was out of an effort to           create a shared sense of understanding and a ‘baseline’ for our faculty and staff around          the issues we are engaging on our campus in hopes of becoming an anti-racist educational   institution.”

            — Columbia College

            “Of all the alternative approaches to Undoing Racism®, this is the premier approach to it because it is objective, analytical, and action-oriented.”

            — Claremont Graduate University

The People’s Institute’s commitment to “Sharing Culture” is central to transforming UMass Boston’s campus culture. Part of the People’s Institute’s philosophy states, “Culture is the life support system of a community. If a community’s culture is respected and nurtured, the community’s power will grow.” The People’s Institute’s focus on “shared culture” will help prepare UMass Boston in its transition to becoming an anti-racist and health-promoting public research institution. We hope you will consult with the Dean of Faculty to discuss the strength of this proposal. The RJC and the Dean of Faculty, in our view, represent the two institutional entities best positioned to ensure university-wide impact of this proposal. 

We propose six three-day sessions for six cohorts of twenty-one people (per session) as the first phase of Undoing Racism training during 2022. In keeping with the recommendations of the People’s Institute, we are proposing that these six cohorts are comprised of administrators, faculty, students, and staff. We expect these cohorts will serve the broader campus community, including but not limited to the Restorative Justice Commission, the Departmental Personnel Committee Members, the Strategic Planning Committees, the Undoing Racism Assembly, the Cypher Report, The McCormack Racial Equity Taskforce, the UMB Student Coalition, among others.

Specific Issues Proposal Seeks to Address:  

By engaging in Undoing Racism training at UMB by the People’s Institute we believe we will be able to create an environment which gives us a common framework and language to engage across campus in meaningful and transformative dialogue around structural racism and its ongoing impacts and harms. Through the training, we will expand institutional and community building across campus.

Specific Ways Proposal Would Address Issues:   

By providing us with a common framework for analyzing and discussing such structural issues, we believe that Undoing Racism training by the People’s Institute will allow greater interdisciplinary and cross-campus dialogue and discussion within our campus community.

This process will help us to chart a path forward to becoming an anti-racist and health-promoting public research institution.

Specific Person or People Who Implement the Proposal:

The proposal will be implemented via a joint committee process from the respective sponsors.

Evaluation of Proposal Implementation:

Evaluation surveys will be conducted of those participating in the training.

Specific Request from the RJC (e.g., general endorsement, financial support, collaboration, etc.):

We are proposing two virtual workshops in the Spring of 2022. The first session will run on Fridays: March 25, April 1, and April 8. The Second session will run on Thursdays: April 21, April 28, and May 5. We intend for this schedule to accommodate the various academic calendars of faculty, administrators, staff, and students. All sessions will run from 9am-3pm (EST). This format will be replicated in the summer and fall sessions with two cohorts each session.

Each virtual workshop is $13,500. Therefore, we are asking the Restorative Justice Commission to support these trainings at $81,000. Administrative costs will include a summer stipend ($10,000 for two faculty members, Dr. Tony Van Der Meer and Dr. Keith Jones, co-conveners of the Undoing Racism Assembly) and fall semester faculty course releases (two courses for two faculty members, Dr. Tony Van Der Meer and Dr. Keith Jones).

Additionally, we urge your full support, participation, and promotion of these sessions across our campus community.

Proposed Timeline:

The six virtual workshops (twenty-one persons per session) will begin in Spring 2022 and will consist initially of the following two sessions (the others have yet to be determined):

1. March 25, April 1, and April 8

2. April 21, April 28, and May 5

3. TBD (Summer)

4. TBD (Summer)

5. TBD (Fall)

6. TBD (Fall)

Participants in each training workshop will be expected to attend all three consecutive sessions.