EDITORIAL: Admin can, need to do more in negotiations

Editorial Board

Right before spring break, UPI-EIU released that they authorized the ability to strike. This does not mean they are going to strike, but possess the ability to call for a strike in the near future. With negotiations still dragging on, that could be in the very near future.

This had many students wondering what would become of the rest of this semester, and how it may affect degree progress or program completion.

To address this concern, this year’s spring break was not complete without an email from provost, executive vice president for academic affairs, and president-elect Jay Gatrell.

The email was sent to all students with instructions moving forward. In these instructions was one item that left the editorial board and many students uneasy.

Per the email from Gatrell,

“Face-to-face Courses & Classroom Elements of a Hybrid Course: Attend all scheduled lectures, labs and studios even if an instructor indicates that the class may not meet during a potential strike. If you have any questions or if an instructor is absent for a registered course, please contact the department chair.”

Are we supposed to just sit in a classroom without a professor? Are we supposed to “tell on” our professors because they want a livable wage and are exercising their right to protest?

We at The News still support the UPI-EIU and their efforts. It is absolutely absurd that the academic year is drawing to a close and our professors are still working without a contract.

It seems as administration saw “good faith negotiations” in the rear view mirror one hundred miles ago.

As students, we hope to look up to our professors as role models and inspiration for our future careers. How are we supposed to look up to them if administration is painting striking professors as the “bad guys” for missing or canceling scheduled classes during a strike.

Our professors are professionals. They are professionals who have spent years in their field and have dedication to their craft. Why should they not be compensated for that? But most of all they are human.

These professionals have families at home, bills to pay, and food to put on the table. They deserve a livable wage to support their basic human needs and wants like everyone else.

Administration’s case is only made worse by University President David Glassman’s personnel contract for when he becomes a professor in the fall after retiring from presidency.

Glassman was approved to be paid $160K over the span of nine months and is only teaching one anthropology class in the spring 2024 semester.

The university says there is not enough money in the budget to give the pay increases the union is negotiating for, yet Eastern can afford paying Glassman as the highest paid professor to teach one course.

Administration is walking a very fine line right now. They have rightfully unhappy, agitated professors on one side and uneasy, nervous students on the other side wondering what the future will be.

One fowl swoop and this can blow up to a larger issue.

From The News, student body, and the professors of this university- respect our educators and get them a fair contract. Why are we dancing around the issue?

Our higher up administration preaches good habits like not procrastinating. Maybe they need to take a page out of their own book and get this contract done that is long overdue.


The Editorial Board can be reached at 581-2812.