Faculty Association marches on McFall, plans next move

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David Jackson

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With the March on McFall complete, members of the Faculty Association aren’t simply waiting for a response from the administration — they’re already planning their next move.

The association’s next demonstration will take place on President’s Day, when prospective students and their families will be visiting campus.

“It’s a good day to do something and one way to inform [prospective students] of the status of the number of faculty here,” said David Jackson, president of the Faculty Association. “There’s always stuff going on.”

In moving on to plan the President’s Day event, the Faculty Association wants something more than a response from the administration, Jackson said.

“We’re demanding a change of behavior in that they decide to not have 100 fewer faculty,” Jackson said.

Although the University sent out a press release approximately three hours after the March on McFall, the release did not recognize the march other than stating that the University would not be “commenting further on either the faculty reductions or contract negotiations.” The statement is part of an ongoing effort to make sure negotiations are conducted privately, instead of in the media, according to the press release.

Despite the press release, the Faculty Association is trying to shed more light onto the cutting of 100 faculty members, rather than negotiating collective bargaining in the media, Jackson said.

“We’re not asking to negotiate in public … this time it’s about those 100 faculty,” Jackson said.

Jackson, along with sophomore Michael Hart, delivered a petition protesting the 100 cuts to BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey’s office during the march. The petition had close to 5,100 signatures from people at the University, in the state of Ohio and around the country.

Upon greeting Jackson and Hart, Mazey assured them that a lot of consideration went into the decision to cut faculty in an effort to save $5.2 million.

“It was a tough budgetary decision,” Mazey said. “Our biggest priority is serving our students.”

Jackson and Hart then returned to the crowd of about 300 people outside of McFall Center, where they had both earlier spoken about the cuts.

“We’re all here because of some shared values,” Hart said during the march. “If there is this disconnect between the university and its students, then the university can’t reach its full potential.”

Hart, a political science student, got more involved with the march after finding out an instructor, who helped him get an internship in Washington, D.C. this past summer, will not return for the fall semester.

“He’s the kind of teacher we want to keep,” Hart said.

While most of the cuts that were announced Jan. 18 will come in the form of faculty retiring or leaving for other jobs, some faculty on one year contracts will not receive contract renewals. Such is the case with Hart’s instructor.

The cuts came as the BGSU Board of Trustees approved about a one percent raise for Mazey, taking her salary from $375,100 to $382,602, according to a document featuring the University’s gross earnings for the fiscal year 2011-12. Other staff also received raises that went into affect this past September.

The Board of Trustees also awarded Mazey a $50,000 bonus in December, which Mazey said she would donate to student scholarships.