Briefing from AAUP contract negotiations
July 10, 2012
After an introductory meeting on June 28, we have quickly moved to discussions concerning substantive issues of the contract. Consistent with our preparatory discussions, our goal is to agree on a contract that is commensurate with the important contributions of our faculty, and positions the University to meet the increasing demands for accountability, flexibility and innovation.
This is the first full-blown contract negotiation with the AAUP-AFT in nearly a decade, and each side has put on the table proposals for changes to the agreement. We expect emotions will run high, but hopefully not prevent us from accomplishing the important work before us. While both sides can articulate their positions strongly, it is important that each side approach the other with the assumption that it is acting with good intentions—that we avoid needless confrontations, and adhere to the facts.
It is also important that we reiterate the principles that led us to our initial positions for contract negotiations.
First, our students are our highest priority. Ultimately, we are accountable to them for the quality of the educational experience they receive, the research and services and facilities that support this education, and the flexibility they demand in an increasingly technological world.
Also, we must structure an agreement where accountability is a shared culture and practiced at all levels of the university. This starts with accountability to students for excellence in education and all that supports it. More and more, the state defines such accountability as success in retention, graduation and career readiness. We will be fiscally responsible with revenue from the students, taxpayers and donors. We will continually evaluate our processes and services to ensure we are as efficient and effective as possible, while also delivering high levels of service and excellence. And we are all, of course, responsible for our individual performance.
Finally, in a world that is changing rapidly, we must plan for innovation. All universities, and WSU in particular, must be flexible to discover and implement creative solutions to new challenges that emerge with the changing world. Adapting to these challenges may mean changes in our product or product delivery. Failure to adapt will render WSU increasingly uncompetitive.