I am very disappointed and even more dismayed that there is any kind of consensus that has our full-time faculty members leaning towards withdrawing services and going on strike.
We are not coal miners. We are not part of a private/for profit enterprise. We are really not market driven like many in this economy who “only eat what they kill.” We are an essential service, a major first-line responder in playing a most significant role in contributing to an educated, critical thinking, and hopefully a kind and caring society.
How can we in good conscience believe that the issues of contention here are worthy of turning our backs on doing what our society has given us the trust to do?
How can we at this time in an economy where so many have suffered huge losses think that we are so aggrieved and so unjustly positioned that we tell our students that our situation is so bad that they must suffer so we can prevail?
Yes, some of the issues the leadership of central admin have put on the table are silly at best — in loco parentis and/or a presumptuous moral arbitration.
Seems to me the leadership of our faculty are stuck in a different rut and silly as well if they believe the issues are such to walk away from our duties as professionals.
I am in no way endorsing central administration — we have sadly moved away from a collegial village to too many “suits” in admin who have never walked the walk of the teaching/mentoring profession that is the real heart and soul of what we do. Too many bean counters pretending we are a major corporation instead of a trust of society. But any leadership should not have their hands so tied up when trying to dismiss those faculty, who anyone with half an eye or a failing ear knows should have been gone long ago.
I don’t see this as a threat because my 42 years here have shown me we have a wonderful collection of talented and dedicated people and the amount of dead wood is minimal. Nobody bats 1.000.
There should be no strike.
There should be mandatory arbitration without any interruption of the valuable service we have been entrusted to deliver for the betterment of our society.
The hard-liners on both sides of this conflict must now step aside and give way to a different mindset that first and foremost embraces finding a resolution without any withdrawal of services.
I cannot in good conscience withdraw my services.
It takes a village. Western is a most significant village. You don’t close down a village without huge negative implications.
No one wins if our faculty goes on strike. But our faculty surely will lose in the hearts and minds of those who look to higher education as one of the lynch pins of a vibrant and caring society.
Hey you folks in central administration who are opposing on the one side and you faculty folks who are equally adamant in opposition on the other side — how about stepping back, take a few deep breaths, regain or develop respect for the fact that we are all in this together, keep foremost in your mind none of us are coal miners, and absolutely do not bring this magnificent machine to a screeching halt. How about thinking, then leading.
I am not withdrawing my services.
I trust those of us who also do not want to withdraw services will not be prevented from doing so by central administration. But if we are forced out of doing what we should be doing — our job, our entrusted duty — well then, we are going to hell in a hand basket. And what a pitiful joke we all will be this “leading, thinking” institution.
Professor in School of Kinesiology
Head Coach Men’s & Women’s Cross Country
Ed. note: This letter was originally an e-mail sent out to Vigars’ TAs and students. The copy provided to us also arrived before any decision on the strike had been made.