Professors asks PRIDE!Kent to support contract extension

Kiera Manion-Fischer

Kristen Precht, assistant professor of applied linguistics, spoke at last night’s PRIDE!Kent meeting in favor of the faculty vote for domestic partner benefits.

Precht told PRIDE! members she was furious about the American Association of University Professors’s recommendation that faculty reject the administration’s offer of domestic partner benefits.

“They want three and a half percent (salary increase), and they don’t care if we don’t get domestic partner benefits,” she said.

The tenure track unit of the AAUP cited concerns about salaries falling behind the inflation rate. AAUP members are scheduled to vote on the proposal soon.

“I don’t have a partner right now, so it doesn’t affect me,” she said, “But it’s a human rights issue.”

Precht is a member of the LGBT Faculty, Friends and Allies Committee. She said that if faculty do not accept the benefits now, they may not get them for another three years.

“We don’t know that the administration is going to put it back on the table this summer,” she said.

Precht told members to tell their professors to vote yes.

President Leora Rzepka talked about the endowment for LGBT students from Harry Jackson, a donor from Akron. The account includes $25,000 as of today, but interest will accumulate and Rzepka said a scholarship should be offered after 18 months.

She will be on a committee to decide how the money is spent, but she said she wants to see some of it go to scholarships for LGBT students as well as programming.

“We’re not sure exactly how the money is going to be used,” she said.

Contact safety reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at kmanion@kent. edu.