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The Point: The Water’s Great!


Greetings, Colleagues:

I am feeling pretty confident that this will be the easiest edition of The Point that I will ever write.

No, I’m not resigning!

Quite to the contrary, this is the email blast where I urge you to think about running to join us on the FSU Executive Committee.  Let me get some of the nitty gritty stuff out of the way first.  There are a number of positions up for election this spring, including Vice President (1), Non-Tenure Track (2), Pre-Tenure (1), and Tenured (3).  The positions are all two year terms (June 2021 to May 2023) with the exception of one vacant TT position—that one will go from March ’21 to May ’22.  I should note right up top that most people who serve on the ExCom are not called on to do much work over the summer, so most of these jobs don’t really start until September.  When we are in session we generally meet every other week (at a time that is not set until we all know our teaching schedules) and each take on various other tasks as we are able and are interested

Working on ExCom “counts” as a substantial service commitment and is the most efficient way to get more fully involved with all the work the FSU does on campus and off. Other brass tacks: the nomination period ends this Friday (February 12—see attached forms!), there will be a candidate forum on March 3, and the voting will run from March 5-12. If you have technical questions email the FSU Elections Committee at

Now, for the non-essentials, aka “the stuff that really matters.” 

I look forward to every single ExCom meeting and feel uplifted after each one.  (No offense to any other colleagues, students, or, ahem…administrators who I engage with regularly, but I don’t think I can say it about any other UMB-related activity.)  I can’t explain this except to say the most obvious thing a person can say about doing union work: there is a deeply-felt sense of comradeship in all that we do.  Our meetings are interesting and—I’m just going to come out and say it--actually fun; we take care of lots of important business and do so in a way that feels manageable and energizing.  

The colleagues who serve on ExCom are—like you!—committed to making UMB a better place to work and go to school.  We take on concerns of everyday significance to members—workload, remuneration, and so on—to matters of major importance for the common good of our city, state, and wider world.  Some of us are particularly good at focusing on the details of contract and university protocols, while others of us tend to get more wrapped up in the place of the university in broader contexts.  This balance of interests and skills is what makes working on ExCom so thrilling.  We also work closely with the other campus unions—PSU and CSU, GEO and the relatively recently created chairs’ union (DCU) as we strive to make UMB a more humane and just place. Serving on ExCom also means you get to engage regularly with our brilliant membership coordinator, Lorenzo Nencioli, who knows as much about how UMB works as anybody else I know, and our MTA field representative, Katie D’Urso, who teaches us important things regularly, helps keep us organized, and makes sure the whole ExCom vehicle stays between the lines.

One thing I can say for sure: being a part of the FSU ExCom is an education and an inspiration. If you get elected to ExCom you will learned so much about this complex ecosphere we work in. And best of all, you will do so in a context in which you will be respected, supported, and empowered.

This is your union: think about running for ExCom!  And please write us at if you have other questions about what it means to join this fantastic group.


Jeffrey Melnick

American Studies Department

Communications Director, Faculty Staff Union Executive Committee

For information on the FSU, links to our contract and bargaining updates, and a calendar of events, see the FSU webpage