AN OPEN LETTER TO CHANCELLOR MARTIN

March 16, 2009

Dear Chancellor Martin,

The LSU Chapter of AAUP supports your efforts to plan ahead so as to avoid layoffs and to minimize damage to LSU resulting from the projected budget cuts. However, we are concerned about the wisdom and long-term effects of your request to the LSU System for greater power to implement furloughs without having to invoke financial exigency. In the hands of future chancellors, such powers may easily be abused.

We feel that extraordinary financial conditions require deliberations by experts, such as are concentrated in universities. AAUP-approved policies on financial exigency make provisions for the involvement of faculty expertise in the decision making. A declaration of financial exigency ensures that extraordinary measures, if necessary, are supported by the faculty. It also alerts the legislature and public to the consequences of cuts in public funding of higher education.

Hence, the LSU Chapter's preliminary position regarding your proposals is as follows:

1. No reduction of the 1-year required notice of non-reappointment for untenured faculty with two or more years of service, unless a declaration of financial exigency is made.

2. No furloughs or pay cuts without a declaration of financial exigency.

3. No declaration of financial exigency until the LSU A&M campus adopts a PS (Policy Statement) on financial exigency approved by the Faculty Senate and the AAUP.

4. No abolition of the right to appeal a furlough decision.

5. For faculty, no furlough on research without an equal furlough on teaching.

In addition, the LSU AAUP Chapter recommends that you:

6. Consider the option of pay deferrals, redeemable upon retirement without interest, instead of furloughs.

7. Apply any furloughs, or pay deferrals or cuts, to all LSU employees progressively, with higher percentages on higher incomes.

We would welcome meeting with you to discuss any of the points in this letter or in the attached flyer, which will be distributed to the faculty tomorrow, before your forum on Wednesday, March 18.

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Charles N. Delzell
Professor of Mathematics
President, LSU Chapter of AAUP
578-1602
delzell@math.lsu.edu

Chapter Executive Committee:
Vice President: Brooks B. Ellwood (Geology & Geophysics)
Secretary: Pratul Ajmera (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
Treasurer: Larry Crumbley (Accounting)
At Large Member: Kent Mathewson (Geography & Anthropology)
At Large Member and Webmaster: Irvin Peckham (English)
Past President: Dominique G. Homberger (Biological Sciences)

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LSU AAUP Report on Meeting with Chancellor Candidate Michael Martin.

On May 20, 2008, the Executive Committee of the LSU Chapter of the AAUP, together with the LSU Faculty Senate Executive Committee (FSEC), held a meeting with Dr. Michael Martin, who, as of May 20, was the only candidate being considered for the job of LSU Chancellor (for the latest, see www.lsu.edu/chancellor/search). Click here for our chapter's report of the May 20 meeting; the FSEC has written its own, separate report on the meeting, which will soon be available at http://www.lsu.edu/senate. Our AAUP report makes no recommendation; it just reports what Martin said during our meeting.