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Re: "The labor strife at Youngstown State University has focused public attention on the fact that the $70,000-plus average salary for faculty is way higher than the $24,000 median income of a family of four in Mahoning County."
Yes it is this kind of false reasoning that keeps pulling Youngstown deeper and deeper into a pit. That anybody who makes more than below average doesn't deserve to live here. I know another ideology similar to this. It is called "command economy". Comrade, I will not make more than you because we are all equal in serving the state. And, when we are all equal in serving the state, there is no incentive to do better. And when there is no incentive to do better, alcoholism, drugs, and crime replace desire to strive for improvement. Culture and economy stagnate. And Youngstown continues to slide downward because it doesn't value its talent.
September 4, 2011 at 7:01 p.m.
Russo is dismissed by most faculty as a charlatan. He is not taken seriously because he spouts nonsense. Just because he is vocal doesn't mean he's that influential.
And I was not a unionist, until this administration treated us like we were a peripheral part of the university when we are the main part.
If my propaganda is to help others realize that YSU faculty do a good job and that being well paid compared with other higher education institutions is important, then propaganda it will be.
And regarding Schulick and Anderson - talk about puppetry. It's not so much that the faculty always need a union (most faculty at other universities don't), but I'm glad we have one now - because the board is out of touch with the faculty, and not to be trusted.
Again, the factfinder's report, though badly written, gave many concessions because faculty wanted to return to work. They realize today's harsh realities. But the administration wanted more? It was a slap in the face.
September 4, 2011 at 1:01 a.m.
Linkon is the spokesperson of the Union, but John Russo is not even an officer anymore. See YSU-OEA website. It's Stan Guzell and Julia Gergits doing most of the speaking lately. Atown is out of touch.
It is long past due to get this settled, reasonably, and if the administration had accepted the factfinder's original report, it would have been settled. But the administration wanted blood and its flagrant intransigence has succeeded in making radical what was normally a reasonable faculty.
As time passes, it is the administration that is placing itself in a box - with unjust and improper tactics at best. Truly this is the Schulick - Anderson debacle.
September 3, 2011 at 10:15 p.m.
Oh...and as far as Curriculum Vitae and class syllabi are concerned, they are pretty much public. Go to any department and request them. Most professors would be glad to give you one. You see they want you to see how their class is structured. They want you in their class. They want you to see what they've accomplished at YSU and for the community. But you know this. You took a couple of classes at YSU. CVs and Syllabi are not secrets: they are guides to YSU learning and proof of YSU accomplishments of faculty. Drop your email here and I'll send you mine. All of them.
September 3, 2011 at 9:14 p.m.
Also, often our faculty teach night classes after spending all day at YSU. Often there is not time to grade papers, exams, etc. during the day so that has to be done on weekends. If that were the case, I would NOT be off today. And 45 hour weeks are not uncommon.
One of our faculty came here after receiving tenure at another university because YSU was attractive. Another left another university because he was not treated well where he was and he came to a better teaching environment. Yes, one did not receive tenure where before because it was a high powered state research institution that required super intense research (sometimes as much as a book a year will not get tenure). This can be a family-breaker. Two of our faculty were recruited right out of Graduate School. So we have a mix.
Regarding tenure, yes once tenure is achieved at any university, it is hard to let the person go. BUT it can be a real challenge to get tenure in the first place and a real challenge to get both levels of promotion and many never do.
I almost play into your hands on who I am and which department I represent, but this is a discussion forum, not a court of law. If you were in intense negotiations with your administration and had said you were very upset with them, would you immediately reveal your identity here? What do you think my colleagues would think? But certainly I think you have not 'walked the halls' of YSU enough. I've been here 20 years and overall I see taxpayers money well spent (and students money well spent).
I'm sorry your experiences with your couple of classes were negative ones. Since you told us, I believe you.
September 3, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.
The professors in my department are there all day. Of course I could just be lying to hide my desire keep my exorbitantly high pay and not work for it.
Accountability comes with promotion opportunities. Assistant Professors will be released from YSU if they do not produce peer-reviewed publications (ask if you don't know what that means). Once you prove your worth by publishing, teaching, and serving the university and the community you may advance to Associate Professor, but if you can't publish and prove scholarly contributions (not an easy process) you may not get promotion to full professor. And I know several that will not likely get promotion. There is a process. You are not familiar with it.
It seems you just don't like the whole idea of higher education. This model would be applied to any college or university anywhere, not just YSU.
September 3, 2011 at 11:57 a.m.
These issues come with the territory of higher education no matter whether the institution is public or private. From what I've seen attending and teaching at six different universities, there were no significant differences between the activities of the faculty. There were very good ones who strove to make a difference and there were basket cases. This is not a problem associated only with institutions of higher learning - it is a problem everywhere. So in that sense, a union is not always a key part of the environment, but here, this time, the administration has treated faculty like they were a peripheral part of YSU happenings - like they don't matter. It is hurtful and wrong, and in this case I back the union 100%, no matter what it bodes for the future.
September 3, 2011 at 9:55 a.m.
You also assume that professors actually come to YSU to be in some peculiar cushy shelled environment where they can just suck money out of the state. I came to YSU because I wanted to be a professor. I came because I wanted to teach and do research. I came because I have an enthusiasm for my discipline. I came because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of students. I have made a difference. I was not raised in a union environment. The few who do not do their jobs...well....you find those people 'not breaking a sweat' all over the country.. Some leave yes, but no more than at other universities. All of the 'issues' you describe simply come with the territory, whether it be Youngstown State, The University of Nebraska, or Harvard. If you dislike university life and activity, that is your prerogative, but the issues you describe apply to universities, and to life, all over the world in all walks of life. This means of course that you simply refuse to see the good in most horizons that you glance at momentarily.
September 3, 2011 at 6:28 a.m.
You mention a few cases. This is not a majority. It is your argument that is specious. I work there every day. I see the earnest work that they do. What evidence do you have that firing them all and hiring all new at half the price is going to produce the results you seek? It sounds to me that you were not even trying to understand what your instructors were trying to teach. I am aware of recent books and book chapters published on American Religion, Mental Health, Internet Technology, and the Automobile Industry. I am aware of theses recently done by M.A. students on Clustering of Biological Communities and on Soil Preservation in a Western National Park. I am sorry you are so bitter. I hope you find a way to be happier in life.
September 3, 2011 at 6:09 a.m.
Visits to YSU Academic Departments reveal professors teaching challenging courses, grading papers, preparing lectures, writing and doing research, helping and advising students, communicating with alumni, doing book reviews, participating in leadership in professional organizations, setting up student internships, advising student clubs, setting up labs, monitoring sensitive equipment, advising graduate students, collaborating with other faculty, and communicating with potential employers in the community and beyond in behalf of the future grads. YSU professors have prepared much, work hard, care for the students and make Youngstown a better place to live.
September 3, 2011 at 12:49 a.m.