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First Message from New FSU President


Dear FSU Members,

These are uncertain times at UMass Boston.  The specter of a potential campus reopening looms, and brings with it a range of workplace safety issues that we will discuss in an FSU Forum this Wednesday from 1:30 to 3:00 (  Hundreds of our fellow faculty recently received “non-reappointment” letters, leaving their future at UMB in doubt during the middle of a health and economic crisis. Thanks to the more than 300 of you who signed the letter of support for our laid off colleagues.  And enrollments and state funding remain question marks heading into the Fall.   

And yet, amidst all of this uncertainty there is the silver lining of increased engagement on the part of faculty and librarians in the FSU and Faculty Council, as well as stronger relationships between the various unions on campus.  This is your union, and it is our job to not only make sure that the FSU is democratically and transparently run, but that there are clear avenues for meaningful member engagement that builds our power within and beyond the workplace. 

This is also our challenge – to organize, harness, and amplify the power that we collectively possess in ways that ensure we are securely employed, fairly compensated, and work under safe conditions.  We must also work to be full partners in the running of a university that lives up to its urban mission as a high quality and accessible institution of higher education.  The FSU will strive for nothing less -- and we will insist that our administration does as well.        

A special thanks to Marlene Kim, the FSU President for the past six years.  She has been a tireless advocate for faculty and librarians during a period of seemingly endless transition.  Likewise, thanks to Joe Brown and Emilio Sauri, whose terms on the FSU executive committee are coming to end.  Their hard work and thoughtful engagement have left the FSU in a stronger position going forward.  And thanks also to Cat Mazza, whose term on the Grievance Committee is now over.  Her vital, valuable, work has helped ensure that FSU members are treated fairly.

I look forward to working with everyone as we strengthen the FSU’s ability to advocate for our faculty and librarians, as well as for UMass Boston and public higher education in general.


Steve Striffler

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