Hmm ... the BGSU Faculty Association group page features a nice photo gallery of images of faculty gathered around a table littered with with pens, paper, and red cups. Photo captions aren't provided, so one can only imagine what the photos depict. Perhaps these images are intended to illustrate what organizing looks like? And why red cups? To symbolize solidarity among comrades? Support for Ohio State? Are the pictures intended to illustrate commodities undeserving of tenure?
And what is one to make of this image? Should one infer that the group has no data to support their position? That the group advocates and intends to propagate a climate of fear and intimidation? Does this image afford insight into how the group is conducting their "card campaign"? Does this image reflect a group capable of critical thought and analysis?
A wall post by David L. Jackson offers "some thoughts about the BGSU-FA, our campaign, our future, and potential costs associated with collective bargaining." Several paragraphs of meandering prose distill to two key points:
- Questions regarding what a union might do regard hypotheticals and it is "impossible to answer hypothetical questions about future decisions.
- A union, if deployed would require collection of dues. The necessity of collecting dues is not regarded as a hypothetical. The amount of dues to be collected, however, remains a hypothetical.
Absent from Mr. Jackson's "thoughts" is any reference to how unionizing the faculty will further the mission of the institution. Also absent is any indication of how students would benefit from faculty unionization.
The BGSU FA FAQ page is similarly focussed on warm fuzzies and how faculty unionization will necessitate collection of dues. The document is stunningly silent on how the mission of the institution and BGSU students might benefit. Indeed, the document is silent on how BGSU or its faculty would materially benefit from the addition of a unionized faculty beyond the impressive benefits already codified in the BGSU Academic Charter.
Collectively, these documents lead one to wonder if the BGSU faculty supporting unionization apprehend the connection between their jobs and the institutional mission of educating students and expanding knowledge.
The BGSU Students Against Unionization evidence comparative intellectual maturity. The student group is collaboratively constructing a list of ways unionization would impact students. I applaud the students for their open-mindedness: "Opposing viewpoints welcomed openly to comment. I believe that this should be a "marketplace of ideas" just as a university should be.. "
If these Facebook groups afford an indication, BGSU students better apprehend the purpose and culture of a university, and the impact of unionization on that culture, than do the BGSU faculty for unionization.
I'd score this a knock-out blow for the students and an embarassment for the faculty.