On Thursday, October 11, representatives from the RAFO Executive Committee sat down with President Ali, Provost Lois Becker, and Toyia Stewart of HR to discuss the direction and goals of Roosevelt University as the union enters its second year of our three-year contract. The most positive announcement comes from the Board of Trustees who have approved a 2% raise for all faculty and staff if the university meets its economic goals for this academic year, including additional cuts from the salary bottom line. While these factors will be watched carefully over the next semester and raises put on hold until the enrollment numbers are finalized from the spring term, RAFO expects members will receive the 2% raise in the spring term. Also note, the raise will be retroactive for fall 2018.

During the fall semester, adjuncts can expect professional development training for the new Core Curriculum. Provost Lois Becker and Amanda Wornhoff have secured the budget to offer trainings to the adjunct faculty in November at the union hourly compensation (listed in the RAFO contract 2018-2020). Dates and times will be announced as the trainings are finalized by the Provost’s office.

Other topics covered during our meeting included campus security measures, the sale of the Gage Building, and graduate student orientations. As crime surrounding the university appears to have increased, President Ali stated that the administration is working with other colleges and universities within our zip code to address safety for the students and the instructors. He confirmed that RU is coordinating with the campus security and the City of Chicago to increase a police presence for the safety of the faculty, staff, and student body. The sale of the Gage Building is close to completion with funds going to decrease the current debt. Provost Becker addressed student orientations for the various graduate programs to ready incoming students and prepare them for the rigor and academic setting of Roosevelt’s experiential classroom learning. Provost Becker described the initiatives for creating 4+1 certificate programs where undergraduate students take graduate level courses as to encourage their continued educational commitment to Roosevelt University.

Finally, I asked our membership to submit requests for the President and the Provost to consider during this non-negotiation year. Several adjunct faculty members responded with tangible items to improve working conditions like locked file cabinets and a full size refrigerator for AUD 256 and intangible requests like additional professional development, more notice for class assignments, and increased flexibility with adjunct scheduling. All of the requests that adjunct members made were passed along to President Ali and Provost Becker.

RAFO is committed to serving our membership, protecting workers’ rights, engaging the adjunct faculty in labor discourse, organizing professional development opportunities, and increasing job security. Your feedback is always welcome.

Here to serve.

Jen Wilson, President