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Published: Saturday, 5/4/2013

BGSU faculty contract OK’d

Trustees approve retroactive raises, eliminate teaching jobs

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — After approval came applause.

The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees on Friday voted 8-0 to approve the first contract with the faculty union.

It includes retroactive pay raises totaling 6.5 percent for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 years, and increases of up to 3 percent annually for the next three years, according to the BGSU Faculty Association. The contract includes an additional $1.8 million to bring salaries to an average of those at three other Ohio universities.

BGSU Faculty Association members agreed to the terms last month. In 2010, the faculty voted to join the American Association of University Professors.

The chapter reportedly represents about 800 full-time faculty members.

Board Chairman William Primrose III said the board determined the terms are “reasonable and equitable” and expressed appreciation to the faculty and administration for their “very diligent work.”

After the trustees’ vote, audience members clapped.

“We’re obviously pleased the board agrees that it’s a fair contract and voted in favor of it unanimously. Now we have to do the hard work of actually implementing and enforcing the contract,” said David Jackson, association president, in a phone interview after the meeting.

The university also said Friday it reduced the number of faculty positions by 73. In January, administrators announced plans to cut about 100 full-time jobs through retirements, attrition, and the expiration of some one-year contracts.

The reductions will save the university about $3.2 million, including roughly $2 million in salaries from not renewing the one-year contracts of 43 nontenure-track faculty members.

As of last Wednesday, the university reported 27 faculty members intended to, or have, retired, and 29 left for other reasons, including other jobs. However, the university plans to hire 26 tenure-track faculty members in areas of growth, bringing the reduction of staff to 73.

Some faculty members whose contracts were not renewed could be rehired, depending on retirements.

“What we anticipate is constantly monitoring our staffing and ensuring that it is appropriate for our university,” said Rodney Rogers, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. He said the initial announcement to cut 100 faculty members was always just an estimate.

Mr. Jackson criticized the reductions, calling them an attempt to divide tenure and nontenure faculty members. “It can only mean larger class sizes,” he said, as well as fewer class options.

During the board meeting, trustees also:

● Approved a new master of science in analytics. The program could start as soon as this summer, but definitely will be launched by fall.

● Authorized administrators to negotiate an agreement with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for on-campus construction of an $11.9 million Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification lab. The project is to be paid with an allocation in the state capital budget. Once built, BCI will stop leasing space it occupies in Bowling Green.

● Changed the name of the College of Technology to the College of Technology, Architecture, and Applied Engineering.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com or 419-724-6065.



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