United Academics’ Bargaining Team Honored with MLK Award

At the university’s recent celebration luncheon for Martin Luther King, Jr., our bargaining team was awarded a 2014 Equity and Inclusion Innovation Award for the team’s efforts to ensure that service is recognized and honored during the promotion review process. Our Agreement includes a provision allowing both non-tenure-track and tenure-related faculty to include a discussion of their contribution to institutional equity and inclusion in their promotion statements. ¬†

Text of the speech given by Professor Yvonne Braun on behalf of the United Academics Bargaining Team on accepting the 2014 Equity and Inclusion Innovation Award:

Thank you, Vice President. I am deeply honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of my tremendous faculty colleagues on the United Academics bargaining team, and I also want to recognize our two chief negotiators, Dave Cecil and Mike Mauer.

I know I speak for the whole team when I say this award is particularly meaningful to us as our whole approach to bargaining was rooted in the values of equity, transparency, fairness, and inclusion. Our hope was that we could play a small role in bringing greater alignment between these values and institutional policies and practices in our university community.

One specific way is having faculty include contributions to institutional equity and inclusion in their promotion statements. For us, this was in response to a series of interrelated concerns.

First, we were concerned about issues related to service. As you all know, service expectations are not uniformly applied nor are the obligations to serve equally shared.

Second, and relatedly, we were concerned about the patterns associated with disproportionate service, such that women and faculty of color often do much higher levels of service. Specifically, institutional strategies to diversify and be more inclusive have relied on the work of a small group of committed faculty to support these institutional goals.

Considering both of these points, we wanted to create avenues for greater recognition of faculty work that serves these institutional goals, in recognition of their importance to the institution and our university community.

We also aimed to regularize service expectations for all faculty by creating mechanisms that serve to incentivize, validate and reward such service via inclusion in critical institutional policies such as promotion.

In the longer term, our hope as faculty and as members of United Academics is that this will encourage all members of our university community to consider how we all share the responsibilities, the opportunities, and the benefits of building a more equitable and inclusive institution.

Thank you again for the honor of this award.