Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Letter from Edward Schmidt

Dear Tenure-track Colleagues,

Should the tenure-track faculty at MSU decertify AFMSU?  In situations where gross inequities or systemic employee abuse exists, unions might help employees achieve improved labor practices.  For example, we have heard of corporations where employee-pensions were captured to fund exorbitant compensation packages for top executives.  In such situations, collective bargaining might help employees achieve a fair distribution of assets.  MSU’s tenure-track faculty, I will argue, do not suffer abuse or inequities of this magnitude.  I find AFMSU to be an unnecessary, ineffective, and unjustifiably expensive hindrance to MSU's educational mission.

In my opinion:

1)   Neither the State nor the Administration is misappropriating resources that should, instead, be redistributed among MSU faculty. The budget and budgeting processes are reasonable, responsible, and transparent. There is neither a selfishly overcompensated executive team nor other irresponsibly misspent source of money in the budget for AFMSU to garner for the MSU faculty.

2)   MSU’s tenure-track faculty have tenure and grievance processes to ensure merit-based evaluation, promotion, compensation, appeal, and employment-security.  AFMSU’s process does not improve on that which already existed.

3)   Since there is neither gross misappropriation of available resources nor a climate of unfair promotion, dismissal, and appeals at MSU, AFMSU is a superfluous and costly burden on MSU’s tenure-track faculty.

4)   AFMSU has caused increased bureaucratic workloads for tenure-track faculty, which detracts a substantial portion of our effort away from student education and creative endeavors.

I support the democratic process and I encourage all tenure-track faculty, whether they agree or disagree with me, to vote.  Strong participation in this vote will mean a strong result. Please watch for your ballot in the mail and participate in this important decision.

Sincerely yours,

Edward E. Schmidt,
Associate Professor
Immunology and Infectious Diseases