[Vwoolf] Protecting Higher Education at Wright State and across the country

Annette Oxindine kernowwaves at gmail.com
Fri Feb 8 14:10:30 EST 2019

Dear friends and colleagues in Woolf studies:

In the spirit of activism we know Woolf would support, we are asking you to help protect the integrity of higher education, which is under attack at our home institution: Wright State University. Please read on:

The president of Wright State University (Dayton, Ohio), Dr. Cheryl Schrader, and the university’s Board of Trustees have, through a series of colossal misjudgments and faulty directives, devalued faculty and students at WSU, and have threatened once-firmly-held principles of higher education. Their actions have led to what has become Ohio’s longest strike in higher education. 

I, Annette Oxindine, and my faculty colleagues have been on strike for 18 days. I, Mary Beth Pringle, an emerita professor, am supporting my colleagues and other students, alumni/ae, and union allies on the picket lines. In the most basic terms, we are fighting for shared governance of our university, a status that, until recent years, both faculty and administrators here have respected and enjoyed. Many misguided financial decisions made by the administration and Board of Trustees have set the university into a downward spiral. Faculty have been asked to absorb many of the financial losses and to give up the right to negotiate the kinds of employment issues, including health care, that are guaranteed to us by Ohio law and longstanding and revered professional guidelines. 

If the Wright State University president and Board of Trustees prevail in this dispute, we fear a precedent will be set that will adversely affect colleges and universities across the country.

We are asking for your help. Will you do as many of the following as your busy life permits?

1.  Wright State’s administration has just placed a NATIONAL advertisement for LONG-TERM ADJUNCTS willing to replace striking faculty: https://www.higheredjobs.com/faculty/details.cfm 
PLEASE tell your graduate students and remind your colleagues what applying for or taking such jobs really means. We call it for what it is: They are seeking scabs to cross the picket lines of an AAUP union. They also are offering on-campus housing as a perk for any adjuncts who would be willing to move here and take a position. By ANY standard, their doing so will contribute to the degradation of higher education.

2.  Sign the petition linked below: “A Letter of Concern About Faculty Working Conditions at Wright State University”


3.  Use social media to let others know what is going on at Wright State and add your voice to the chorus of ALL those in education seeking reasonable teaching conditions and benefits.

Follow WSU-AAUP on FB and Twitter:

In addition, these brilliant colleagues have been keeping the twittersphere informed of the strike and its origins. You can read their tweets by clicking on the link here, or by following them:
https://twitter.com/lighghghght (Christopher DeWeese) and https://twitter.com/crystal_b_lake (Crystal Lake) and https://twitter.com/astrombeck (Andrew Strombeck)

Also see WSU Students for Faculty on FB and Twitter:

4.  Read the latest Chronicle of Higher Education article about WSU:


5.  Email WSU President Dr. Cheryl Schrader (cheryl.b.schrader at wright.edu) and/or Chair of the Board of Trustees, Douglas Fecher (douglas.fecher at wright.edu). Remind them that the future of Wright State University and all institutions of higher education depend on mutual respect among faculty, staff, students, and administrators. Urge them to settle with the union so that Wright State faculty can get back to the job they are so dedicated to doing: teaching with passion; researching and writing about their areas of expertise; and serving their students, their professional organizations, and their many larger communities.    

If you live in Ohio, please consider calling and/or emailing:

Governor Mike DeWine’s office:

(614) 466-3555 / link: https://governor.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/governor/contact

Chancellor Randy Gardiner’s office:

(614) 466-6000 / link: https://www.ohiohighered.org/staff

We are so proud our students who have, since Wednesday afternoon, been occupying the hallway outside the university president’s office in peaceful silent protest. They have taped over their mouths because they feel silenced by the administration; they also have taped to their backs a list of demands related to their support of faculty and the AAUP.

Thank you for reading!

Please also note that I, Annette, do not have access to my Wright State email while on strike, so if anyone wishes to contact me privately, please do so at this address: kernowwaves at gmail.com. If you wish to email Mary Beth privately, please send email to mbpringle at mac.com.

All best wishes,
Mary Beth Pringle
Annette Oxindine
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