Letter to the editor: Oakland has asked the AAUP to make sure that Moodle be fully deployed per normal procedures

We are writing out of concern that some faculty seem to be misinformed regarding the status of the contract between Oakland and the AAUP.  As you know, that contract has been extended.  Consequently, all faculty are currently working per that contract, a contract that has a no-strike clause (an action that is also proscribed by law).  It appears that some faculty are not loading materials on Moodle due to their incorrect view that they’re working without a contract.  That is not true.  We hereby insist that the union inform faculty that they are to work in the best interests of students per their contractual and legal obligations, and to not withhold their obligations to the students.

We ask the above for these legal reasons, but know that we also do not wish for students to be drawn into what is truly an internal labor relations matter between Oakland and the AAUP.  Our joint mission is to support students and student success as best as we can and not allow labor relations to interfere.  You know that Oakland is endeavoring to provide a fair compensation package for the faculty.  Our goals are similar in this regard, but both parties are challenged in balancing what we may like to do against what is realistic in light of the unprecedented drop in enrollment of over 8% in just one year, a drop that is projected to trigger a $17 million deficit.  Notwithstanding this dilemma, Oakland has proposed net compensation increases for the faculty with a benefit package that is competitive, and in many respects better, than what many other universities provide, and better than what is generally offered per best practices in the market.

Oakland is still committed to reaching an agreement that is in the best of interests of the faculty, the students, and the entire Oakland community.  We hope that our next session will be productive and we look forward to the union’s response to our most recent offer.  We are also eager to finalize a new contract without delay.  To facilitate that becoming a reality, we have invited the state mediator to get involved.  The mediator will attend our meeting on Tuesday.  It’s my understanding that she will reach out for information allowing her to set up the Zoom conference.

This letter was sent by OU Director of Media Relations Brian Bierley on behalf of the OU negotiating team. Letters to the editor can be submitted to [email protected].