September 7, 2016
Dear President Kimberly R. Cline:
Your decision to lockout hundreds of faculty on September 4, 2016 – on the weekend honoring labor no less –is as bewildering as it is unprecedented. Your action threatens to severely damage Long Island University. Your decision to lockout faculty reflects an astonishing disregard for the fundamental bond between student and educator. At the University of Oregon, we understand that institutional respect for faculty is inexorably linked to student learning conditions.
Furthermore, your actions show poor faith in the negotiation process as a space where problems get solved. The process can be difficult at times, but cooperative working relationships and mutual regard can only happen when parties engage without the overt exercise of power by one party over the other. A lockout is a crude and brutal exercise of power, the kind that has devastated workplaces and communities across the country. Terminating faculty healthcare benefits without notice is a cruel manifestation of this type of power.
Your actions are having devastating effects not only on faculty, but on students and the larger LIU community as well. Students learn by the example we set in our lives and work. We urge you to return to the bargaining table and put a good faith ear to the problems being raised by faculty.
Professor of Sociology
President of United Academics, AAUP/AFT Local 3209
University of Oregon