Mission Statement

The purpose of this blog is to deconstruct the rhetoric and strategies of faculty union advocates at the University of Illinois. A consequential decision like this must be based on facts, not spin. Right now only one side of the argument is being presented to faculty. This blog represents the other side of the argument.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013



Nearly every day brings another example of anti-administration rhetoric and distortions. Here's one, favorably linked on the CFA's Twitter feed:

“Now, with nearly a billion dollars in surplus funds, the University President refuses to use even a small fraction of those funds for faculty compensation. His position is not only unwise, it's unfair,” said Joe Persky, President of University of Illinois at Chicago United Faculty (UICUF), the faculty union. . . .

“It is outrageous that the University has increased tuition and burdened students with debt, all while socking away almost a billion dollars of students' money,” said Dan Montgomery, President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the statewide union with which UICUF is affiliated.

[The IFT is also associated with the CFA faculty union efforts here.]


1. There isn't a "billion dollar surplus," a frequently repeated falsehood which we will deconstruct in an upcoming post.

2. The President has authorized faculty raises on two of the campuses. There can't be a salary program at UIC until the union negotiations are settled. 

3. Whatever reserve holdings the University has are a combination of state funds, tuition, and gift funds. It isn't the "students' money." 

The biggest single reason for the very unfortunate rise in tuition, and hence student debt, is not university greed, but the sharp decline in state funding as a percentage of our operating costs over the past decade. Nevertheless, the university has adopted extremely small tuition increases in recent years.

*** This blog is a jointly authored project by two people who believe that the campaign for tenure-track faculty unionization has damaged morale and divided our campus, and that a faculty union, if ever established, would erode academic quality and undermine our highly successful system of campus shared governance, which has earned nationwide praise.

We speak for ourselves. We have no organization behind us, we don’t ask for funding, we don’t pay national hired guns to come in and make the case for us.

We want to start a different campus conversation about faculty unionization, which we believe will be more thoughtful and substantive when people have all the facts.

We welcome and will consider postings from others expressing issues and concerns about faculty unionization. We know that many faculty are very upset about the possibility of working on a unionized campus.

If you see any information here that is inaccurate, please tell us and we will correct it.

If you share our concerns and want to help, please forward these postings to your friends and colleagues, and urge them to do the same. ***