volume 39, number 4
Temple UniversityFaculty Herald

Editorials

From the Editor

—David Waldstreicher, Faculty Herald Editor


If the Faculty Herald were a different kind of publication I’d be tempted to call this offering “The Impasse Issue.” The letters we received since our last edition suggests a rising level of frustration on the part of faculty with the lack of a contract, and perhaps also with the commonly voiced explanations for the stalled negotiations.

For a challenging take on the big picture, we can turn to Political Science professor Joseph M. Schwartz, interviewed in this issue. Those not interested in democratic politics, social policy, or any of the many issues Joe managed to cover in his generous answers to my questions might jump ahead to the last part of the interview, where he too has some things to say about recent developments here at Temple.   As editor, I’ve had my say on these issues already. So I’m especially happy to have a range of voices addressing matters of equity and process. Paul LaFollette and Frank Friedman, both veterans of the Faculty Senate and its committees, offer assessments of the administration’s direction and pointed suggestions for improvement. Daniel T. O’Hara, Shannon Miller, Michael Neff, and a group of fifty-one faculty all respond eloquently, and differently, to Laurence Steinberg’s denunciation of TAUP’s strategy of linking faculty and NTT interests.   

Has everything been said? Are we talking past each other? Or is the question not what has been said, but what has been heard? One thing is clear: the preferred separation of faculty and administrative business from the ongoing contract issues is getting harder and harder to sustain. In this spirit, the members of the Faculty Senate Steering Committee have urged me to remind all the faculty that, as Faculty Senate President Karen Turner put it at the March 18 Representative Senate meeting, “the President and the Provost see this meeting as a place where they can update, and dialogue with, the faculty.” We are fortunate to have a provost who has revived – with gusto – a Temple tradition: a question and answer session (now called “Provost Lisa Listens”) at each monthly Senate meeting.

I joined the faculty in 2004. To be honest, I didn’t know until I became editor of the Herald that Representative Senate meetings, as well as the end-of-the-semester University Senate meetings, are open to all faculty. Perhaps the best way for the faculty to convey its desire for a new contract is to come to the meetings. We know how much is on the president’s and the provost’s plates at a time of budget woes, stimulus packages, and strategic plans. If we think that the faculty having a contract is also important, we have a venue for saying so clearly and directly.

 

Letters to the Editor

4/21/2009 Roberta Sloan, Chair-Department of Theater, Executive Producer–Temple Theaters

"I would like to address the issue of agency fee/fair share, which seems to be a major obstacle in the faculty, librarians and professional staff obtaining a contract."

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Michael Neff, Lecturer, Intellectual Heritage

"I am an NTT in the Intellectual Heritage Program.  I have been thinking about Professor Steinberg’s remarks about NTT compensation in a recent letter to the Faculty Herald.  I speak only for myself, and here are my thoughts."

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Paul S. LaFollette, Jr., Associate Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, College of Science and Technology

"I have been reflecting over the past few days on the presentations that Temple's Provost and CFO made to the Faculty Senate last Tuesday.  I want to share my thoughts with you. I am troubled by two interconnected themes."

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Daniel T. O'Hara, Professor of English and First Mellon Term Professor of Humanities

"Prof. Steinberg's tone in his letter in The Faculty Herald about TAUP-AFT is not one I would choose. However, his pointed observations are right on target."

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Shannon Miller, Chair, Department of English

"While a number of my colleagues will respond to a range of claims in Professor Laurence Steinberg’s recent letter to the Faculty Herald, I want to strenuously object to his claim that tenure track faculty who have low salaries are “moribund” researchers"

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From 51 Temple Faculty

"It is remarkable that a text as brief as Prof. Steinberg’s letter of February 9 could commit so any outrages against facts and values. Those of us who have signed this letter—who represent faculty members of every rank and many disciplines—reject Prof. Steinberg’s argument as logically flawed and ethically toxic."

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