OCAAUP President John McNay appeared on “WHIO Reports,” a local news show in Dayton, to discuss the issue of administrative bloat at Ohio’s public colleges and universities. McNay was joined by conservative Ohio University economist Richard Vedder, as well as Dayton Daily News reporter Josh Sweigart and host Jim Otte.
McNay used the opportunity to discuss the proliferation of administrative positions, noting that there is one administrator for every 14 students, and the ratio of administrators to full-time faculty is about one-to-one.
Prof. Vedder said that the legislature is “abysmally ignorant” of what is going on at the universities and suggested that while no one wants the General Assembly to micromanage institutions, it has an oversight role.
Vedder went on to say that when administrators get more money, because they are in charge of how it is spent, they choose to spend it on themselves and hire more people that can assist them. McNay agreed and noted the findings of Benjamin Ginsberg in his book The Fall of the Faculty and the Rise of the All-Administrative University.
McNay suggested that one way to contain runaway administrative bloat would be to have the legislature set a ratio of faculty to administrators, such as three faculty to each administrator. Vedder said the idea had merit, but said that administrators likely would figure out a way to game the system.
Josh Sweigart asked if faculty salaries were contributing to the rise in cost, but McNay noted that raises barely have kept up with inflation.
The show was followed up by a column in the Dayton Daily News about administrative bloat driving up costs and tuition.
If you are in the State Teachers Retirement System’s (STRS) alternative retirement plan (ARP), part of the employer contribution to your pension is used to offset the negative impact that your choosing the ARP has on the defined benefit plan. It’s called the mitigating rate, and it helps to pay down the unfunded liability in the defined benefit plan.
Raising the mitigating rate from 3.5% to 4.5% was part of the pension reform package under SB 342 in 2012. Recently, the STRS Board attempted to raise the rate by an additional 1%, but the General Assembly imposed a moratorium on this action until the mitigating rate issue could be studied further.
In late August, Rep. Kirk Schuring (R-Canton), Vice Chair of the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC), introduced House Bill 311, which attempts to make the mitigating rate more predictable. The bill proposes to set the mitigating rate at an actuarial determined value and reduce the mitigating rate percentage on a prorated basis each year over a 30-year period until it is eliminated and the employer contribution is fully restored.
There has been concern expressed by some in the ARP that the initial percentage that would be set under this bill would be significantly higher than it is now, based on a report done by ORSC staff last year.
We have spoken to Rep. Schuring’s office, which has expressed that his goal is to reduce the mitigating rate, not increase it. But we cannot say for sure right now that this bill in practice will have that desired effect.
So far, the bill only has been introduced and referred to the Health and Aging Committee. We will be monitoring this closely and discussing it within the Healthcare and Pension Advocates of STRS coalition to which we belong. We will update you with information as it becomes available.
OCAAUP’s 65th Annual Meeting will be held November 6-7, 2015 at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel.
Hank Reichman, Chair of the AAUP’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, as well as Chair of the AAUP Foundation, will deliver a talk at the Friday evening dinner, “To Tweet or Not to Tweet: A Question of Academic Freedom,” which will explore the issue of academic freedom in electronic communications.
In addition, performance artist and Ohio native Aaron Calafato will provide the Saturday luncheon entertainment with his monologue “For Profit,” which is an inside look at the for-profit educational industry, the $1 trillion student debt crisis, and a vibrant portrayal of the exploitation of the American student.
Moreover, AAUP Senior Counsel Aaron Nisenson will address the pending U.S. Supreme Court case Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, as well as recent rulings from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that impact organizing opportunities for private university faculty.
Two workshops will be offered Saturday afternoon – one that is more geared toward collective bargaining members; and another that will focus on building advocacy chapters. More specifics on the workshops will be available soon.
You now can register for the 2015 OCAAUP Annual Meeting online via this event registration page. That page contains all of the preliminary details about the event, including start times for Friday and Saturday and information about reserving a hotel room for Friday.
There are only a few rooms remaining in our block, and the hotel is completely booked otherwise. In order to get a room, and at the significantly discounted block room rate of $120, make your reservation as soon as possible.
Registration is only $25. We hope to see you in November!
During the business portion of the Annual Meeting, delegates will be asked to consider a change to OCAAUP’s Code of Regulations – what we call our constitution and by-laws.
Under Article IV of the Code, it currently reads: “Each Ohio chapter current on its dues to the Ohio Conference with more than 100 members will be entitled to one voting representative to the Board.”
AAUP-KSU (Kent State University) has submitted an amendment that, if approved, would have that section read: “Each Ohio chapter or bargaining unit current on its dues to the Ohio Conference with more than 100 members will be entitled to one voting representative to the Board.”
AAUP-KSU has two distinct bargaining units for its Full-Time Tenure Track faculty and Full-Time Non-Tenure Track faculty, both of which have more than 100 members. While the bargaining units act in concert together in certain ways, they bargain separately, have separate executive committees, and sometimes have different interests. As such, they believe that this change to the Code better reflects that not every collective bargaining chapter has their FTTTs and FTNTTs folded into one unit and thus should be permitted separate representation on the OCAAUP Board.
*A note about voting rights at the Annual Meeting:
Per Article VI of the Code of Regulations:
With the exception of elections, voting shall be by delegates of the AAUP chapters in the State of Ohio present at the Conference meeting Chapters with 7-150 members shall have one vote; Chapters with 151 to 300 members shall have two votes; and chapters with more than 300 members shall have three votes.
For purposes of representation, each AAUP member at an institution of higher education in Ohio at which there is no chartered AAUP chapter shall be entitled to be a member of a single statewide chapter, called the State Chapter.
This State Chapter may nominate and elect officers, who shall in turn provide for the nomination and election of delegates to the Ohio Conference.