Professors’ union discusses no-confidence vote against Lefton

Drew Parker

The council for Kent State’s professors’ union, AAUP-KSU, voted in an April meeting to authorize its president to ask members for a strike vote and to endorse a petition of no confidence against President Lester Lefton.

A no-confidence vote indicates faculty does not support the university president’s actions.

AAUP-KSU is a union representing all Kent State University professors, including tenure- and non-tenure-track faculty.

In an email sent to faculty May 3, AAUP-KSU discussed negotiations for a new faculty contract.

“Unfortunately, we were not able to come to an agreement,” the organization said in the email. “Two issues stand in the way. On the issue of the allocation of merit pay, the administration wants to decrease the amounts allocated by departments and make those allocations a recommendation to the Deans. They also want to substantially restrict the number of faculty that can receive merit in any given cycle.”

The email also discussed faculty handbooks.

“The administration has made it clear that they view contract language in such a way that it allows deans to impose their own language on the department if the dean doesn’t like what the department puts forth, with the only requirement being consultation with the CAC (College Advisory Committee),” the organization said in the email. “This is not how AAUP-KSU has interpreted the existing contract language on handbooks nor has it been the past practice going back to the initial implementation of unit handbooks over 30 years ago. The administration’s recent position on this would represent a significant reduction in Faculty governance rights.”

When contacted for clarification, AAUP-KSU office coordinator Coleen Casey said she could not comment on the status of the no-confidence petition and said a tentative agreement had not yet received a vote.

Kara Robinson, AAUP tenure-track president, could not be reached for comment.

Contact Drew Parker at [email protected].