Minneapolis Star Tribune, Readers Write: (Dec. 1): MnSCU faculty


Editorial Board wrongly disrespects faculty

The Star Tribune’s Nov. 24 editorial (“A job-friendly course is right for MnSCU”) misrepresented — and even appeared to threaten — state university faculty.

“But MnSCU’s faculty should understand that they share a mission to serve Minnesota, in institutions that are accountable to the public,” the Editorial Board wrote. “If they prove unwilling to take steps of MnSCU’s choosing to better meet the state’s workforce challenge, the Legislature has the power to dictate change of its own devising.”

The board did not carefully read or listen to our statement to Chancellor Steven Rosenstone and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities trustees concerning the strategic plan called “Charting the Future” (CTF):

“The Inter Faculty Organization (IFO) embraces the values and commitments inherent in ‘Charting the Future’ … We commit ourselves to bringing the best ideas of more than 3,500 faculty members to the table as we move from these recommendations to concrete actions that will best serve those who chose to study at one of our state universities.”

The editorial suggests that our demand that CTF recognize distinctive workforce missions between community and technical colleges and state universities is insubordination. The newspaper also implies that our cautionary warning that CTF honor local control and decentralization is obstructionist. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Rather, we are collaborative partners, exercising our responsibilities under shared governance. Our constructive criticism of an ill-advised first draft dramatically improved the final report. Likewise, we will press that implementation come not from the top down, but from the bottom up.

Monte Bute, Woodbury

The writer is action coordinator for the Inter Faculty Organization, the collective bargaining representative for faculty in the seven state universities of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.