The EMU faculty union weighs in on the house mess

See this article, “EMU faculty asks governor to step in.” From the article:

The Eastern Michigan University faculty union has sent a letter to Gov. Jennifer Granholm asking her to void President Samuel Kirkpatrick’s $514,000 agreement to resign and instead fire him for just cause.

The letter, sent by EMU’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, also asks Granholm to replace Board of Regents Chairman Philip Incarnati and Paul Schollaert, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

And it goes on from there…

A couple of thoughts:

* This stuff is all available on the EMU AAUP Web Site, which I maintain for the faculty union. Sorta my little part in the effort.

* I have it on reliable authority that this decision to call for the ouster of Incaranti and Schollaert was a matter of some controversy among members of the union leadership. I guess I’ll just leave it at that.

* I completely agree with the call to cancel this golden parachute deal for Kirkpatrick and for the call that Incarnati be replaced. But frankly, I’m not sure I understand why the union wants to drag the provost into this. Schollaert is not the most popular provost ever (I’m not sure there is such a thing as a “popular” provost, frankly), but he didn’t have anything to do with this house mess. It was quite clear that Kirkpartrick had more or less cut Schollaert– and indeed, the entire academic operations of the university– out of the loop. Instead, Kirkpatrick and Incarnati both were interested in stuff like the football team (apparently, Incarnati used to play football at EMU so it’s important to him that EMU keep its division I standing, which it is in danger of losing since no one ever goes to the games), the house (of course!), hiring more administrators, and the new student union, which is currently under construction.

By the way, stay tuned for this student union thing, the next controversy at EMU, after the contract is resolved and/or we go on strike at the beginning of this coming school year. Kirkpatrick et al wanted a new student union so they can convert the old student union, which is a perfectly acceptable and useable facility, into administrative office space. Even though Kirkpatrick is gone, they’re going ahead with this. It might be haulted by the state because of funding concerns, or maybe some administrator somewhere at EMU will have a bit of common sense and try to slow this project down. But if they do go forward with this new union, expect plenty of articles in the Ann Arbor News about cost over-runs, problems with the way that EMU handled the funding, and discussions about how building a union is taking money away from things like maintaining and fixing classroom buildings.

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