On Tuesday, March 11, Gov. John Kasich unveiled House Bill 472, the mid-biennium review (MBR) bill.
The MBR is meant to tweak the state operating budget passed the year before, but Kasich’s HB 472 contains major changes and policy initiatives, such as another income tax (revenue) cut and a tax hike on cigarettes.
Pertaining to Ohio’s public institutions of higher education, the Governor included language calling for universities to evaluate their workload policies by the end of this calendar year, and to increase aggregate faculty workload by 10 percent by the end of Fiscal Year 2017.
Specifically, the bill states:
Section 733.40. Not later than December 31, 2014, each state university, as defined in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code, and the Northeast Ohio Medical University shall report to the Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents on the institution’s faculty workload policy and procedures. The report shall include both of the following:
(A) An evaluation of the institution’s current faculty workload policy and procedures;
(B) The institution’s recommendations to modify its faculty workload policy, by June 30, 2017, to increase the institution’s aggregate faculty workload by ten per cent in the combined areas of instruction, advising, and research.
Both of Kasich’s previous state budget bills included faculty workload language, but each time, the legislature removed the provisions before passing the final bills.As we did during budget bill deliberations, the Ohio Conference will monitor this legislation and provide testimony to the General Assembly about faculty workload issues.
It has long been our position that workload issues should be decided at the institutional level, and that a one-size-fits-all workload edict from the state is a solution in search of a problem. We will continue to highlight where the real problems in higher education lie. Besides the workload issue, the MBR also calls for the “College Credit Plus Program” to be fully implemented and operational for the 2015-2016 academic year.
There are still many outstanding questions surrounding College Credit Plus, especially in regards to who teaches the courses and how funding will be awarded. We will keep you apprised of developments as this bill goes through the legislative process.
The 2014 Ohio Conference AAUP Annual Meeting will be held in conjunction with the Collective Bargaining Congress (CBC) Midwest Regional Meeting, Friday, April 11 through Saturday, April 12 at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel. The Friday evening dinner will feature a provocative presentation by One Ohio Now’s director Gavin DeVore Leonard on tax policy in Ohio and how it’s impacting higher education funding. Professor Chad Hanson of Casper College in Wyoming will deliver the Saturday luncheon talk, entitled “Talking Higher Education: Metaphors That We Live By.”
In addition, National AAUP Senior Legal Counsel Aaron Nissenson will provide an update on recent legal cases impacting academia. There also will be a “Midwest Government Relations Round-Up” highlighting legislative activity in Midwestern states.
Moreover, the Saturday afternoon workshops include:
1) Through the (One Way) Looking Glass: Focus Groups, Polling, and the AAUP Message
2) Building Advocacy Chapters, General Best Practices, and Attracting and Engaging Faculty of Color
3) Battling “Right-to-Work”: The Facts and Messaging
4) Building Effective Contract Campaigns
Below are details for meeting registration and hotel reservations: An online registration has been set-up by National AAUP, which you can access by clicking here. Registration is only $25.
A block of guest rooms has been reserved for that Friday and Saturday night at a special rate of $115/night. Reservations must be made by Friday, March 14 in order to receive the reduced rate. While you may still be able to reserve a room after March 14, it will be at the regular hotel rate, which is significantly higher.
To make your hotel reservation online, click here.You can also reserve your room by calling toll-free at (877) 901-6632 or locally at (614) 228-5050. You must mention that you are with the “Ohio Conference AAUP Annual Meeting” to receive the special rate.