In many ways, AAUP Bucknell grows out of recent struggles over shared governance spearheaded by the Ad Hoc Shared Governance Review Committee (2023-23) whose work continues in the Ad Hoc Shared Governance Review Implementation Committee (2023-25). AAUP Bucknell seeks to support faculty shared governance while also promoting broader workplace democracy for all Bucknell employees. What would it mean to meaningfully include faculty, staff, and students in resource allocation through forms of participatory budgeting? How would the relationship between faculty, staff, students and administration change if administrators were evaluated by the employees they manage? How would the direction of the university change if the Board of Trustees were elected from the faculty, staff and student bodies as well as alumni and donors? If you are interested in these and other issues, consider reaching out to AAUP Bucknell’s Workplace Democracy Committee through Vice-President Sue Ellen Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
While looking forward to fuller workplace democracy, AAUP Bucknell members and participants must continue to defend shared governance. At the beginning of this semester changes to the process by which faculty hiring committees request lines were announced by the Committee on Staff Planning. These changes introduce more administration oversight (5 associate deans) at an earlier stage in the faculty hiring process. They appear to contravene the Faculty Handbook by which faculty democratically govern themselves and seek to determine their relationship to the administration. While this may seem foreign to staff colleagues who enjoy little to no workplace democracy, we encourage everyone to review the email exchange, from faculty members on behalf of the History Department, CSP, and themselves (reproduced with permission). The exchange represents checks and balances on employer authority and serves as an example of workplace democracy in action.
Even though the changes have already been instituted, this debate isn’t over yet. CSP held an open forum in October and will report at the November faculty meeting, along with other committees. AAUP Bucknell members and participants should advocate a resolution that favors workplace democracy. For members who can, make sure to participate in the November faculty meeting. In the meantime, you may reach out to CSP co-chairs Sharon Garthwaite and Jan Knoedler or members of the Ad Hoc Shared Governance Review Implementation Committee (2023-25) Jayne Kubat, Jim Pearson, Ryan Stauffer, Qing Jiang, Lori Dira, Kelly Bickel, Neil Boyd.