Faculty union, administration reach tentative agreement over new contract

Rachel Karas

Editor’s note: Updated June 8 with a response from AAUP-KSU.

The Kent State chapter of the American Association of University Professors and university officials have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for the tenure and tenure track faculty members through the next three academic years.

Melissa Zullo, the president of the Kent State chapter of AAUP, announced the agreement in an email to the tenure and tenure track faculty members of AAUP-KSU. Zullo said that the agreement “was reached after AAUP-KSU Executive Committee and Council voted to accept the [fact finder] report” and that “the recommendations in Mr. [Barton] Bixenstine’s report were incorporated into a tentative agreement.”

Some of the fact finder points include a 2% raise each academic year, except for 2019, when the raise will be 2.5%. The additional .5% will help offset the increase in health benefits costs. A merit awards pool of funds in year 2021 to 2022 will be 2%.

Additionally, the Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) medical plans will be changed and associate professors will receive an additional $1,000 increase in salary at promotion.  

Members of AAUP-KSU were asked to vote electronically. Voting opened Wednesday morning and closes Sunday night, according to the email.

According to the Kent State Human Resources website, the administration “will recommend to the Board of Trustees acceptance of the Fact Finder’s Report.”

Executive Director of University Media Relations Eric Mansfield said in an email the administration could not comment at this time, but the Board of Trustees “is expected to meet in the coming weeks.”

Zullo said in an email AAUP-KSU had no comment to share about the negotiations or the tentative agreement at this time. 

Rachel Karas is the editor of KentWired. Contact her at [email protected].