New chief negotiator named

Maria Nann

Mark Weber has replaced Gayle Ormiston, associate provost for faculty affairs, as chief negotiator on behalf of the university for the collective bargaining term.

Weber, dean of Library and Media Services, took the position of chief negotiator July 18. Ormiston will be leaving Kent State to take a position as provost at Marshall University on Aug. 18.

Weber has been on the bargaining team since the beginning of this year’s negotiations. He said he is resuming the duties of chief negotiator in case the bargaining lasts beyond July 31. He said it is still the teams’ goal to have negotiations completed by then.

“There needs to be someone else to do it,” he said. “To have me start now provides a transition. It’s really more of a phasing in.”

Cheryl Casper, chief negotiator for the American Association of University Professors, said she is still hopeful that the two teams will be able to finish negotiations by July 31.

“Mark has been a member of the team,” Casper said. “There shouldn’t really be any downtime because of his substitution for Gayle.”

Weber, who served as the administration’s chief negotiator in 2001, said while he is associated with the bargaining team, his identifies himself as a librarian.

“I’m a book lover, moreso than a labor negotiator,” he said, laughing.

Weber also attributed gratitude to Ormiston.

“Gayle was a fine negotiator, and we will all miss him very much,” he said. “It’s not an easy job.”

According to an eInside update, the administration remains hopeful the two teams will reach an agreement beneficial to both sides.

“The efforts of the university’s negotiations team continue to be guided by Kent State’s core values, mission statement and established goals,” the update said.

Contact principal reporter Maria Nann at [email protected] .