Faculty should receive same treatment as Schiano, AAUP-BHSNJ says
The American Association of University Professors – Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey (AAUP-BHSNJ) spoke out against Rutgers’ administration officials for hiring football head coach Greg Schiano. The union has been unable to reach a new contract with the University after more than a year and a half of negotiations, according to a press release from the AAUP-BHSNJ.
The AAUP-BHSNJ represents 1,400 faculty members at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS), according to the release.
AAUP-BHSNJ Executive Director Diomedes Tsitouras released a statement on Dec. 7 about Schiano’s contract and how the union members have been without a labor contract for 18 months, according to the release.
“Rutgers did everything it could so it could eventually spend millions of dollars and provide countless perks to a football coach,” Tsitouras said, according to the release. “It would be great if it put that same effort into our faculty, which treat the most vulnerable people in the state and bring millions of dollars in revenue to the University.”
The AAUP-BHSNJ has launched the campaign, Nothingless4RBHS.org, according to the release. The campaign is meant to relieve pay inequities and reform policies that affect the RBHS community.
The researchers of RBHS have brought Rutgers increased distinction since it merged with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2013, according to the release.
While there are plans to hire more vice chancellors and other administrators, the New Jersey Medical School has now become the eighth-highest public medical school for student debt, according to the release.
“We agree with Gov. (Phil) Murphy (D-N.J.): Rutgers is not among the best research and teaching universities in the country without enormous resources and that those resources must be used to stay at a competitive level,” Tsitouras said, according to the release. “Those resources should be used not just for a football coach but for all faculty that works so hard to make Rutgers what it is.”
At the Board of Governors meeting, held on Dec. 1, David Hughes, a professor in the Department of Anthropology and vice president of the American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers, also voiced his opposition to the contract.
He said that the academic freedom given to members of the Rutgers community has not been extended to that of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) community.
The contract the administration wants to implement would make faculty easily dismissable, which Hughes said is not a part of academic freedom.
“It would be fitting if this administration would devote equivalent time — in fact, much more time — for the 1,400 physicians who have been working without a contract now for more than a year,” Hughes said. “Also, as a representative of the faculty that does have a contract, I’m surprised at the way in which the medical school faculty are being treated as step-children.”
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