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2023 Executive Council Nominees

March 27, 2023 / PSU-AAUP

The ballot for the election of councilors to the Executive Council of PSU-AAUP will open on Monday April 10, 2023 at 8am. A link to the online ballot will be sent to you by The ballot will be open for 10 days and will close on Thursday April 20 at 5pm.
The nominees for election are as follows (all candidate statements are below):
Vice President for Grievances and Academic Freedom (vote for one)

  • Bill Knight  Tenured. English (2-year term).

Vice President for Communications and Public Relations (vote for one)

  • Lacey Friedly  Academic Professional. Transportation Research and Education Center (1-year term).

Vice President for Legislative and Political Action (vote for one)

  • Vacant (2-year term). 

Secretary (vote for one)

  • Elena Sokol (incumbent)  Academic Professional. Political Science (2-year term).

Treasurer (vote for one)

  • Peter Kramer  Academic Professional. Campus Rec (2-year term). 

Councilors at Large (vote for three) (3 positions for 2-year terms, and 1 position for 1-year term) (Listed in alphabetical order)

  • Trevino Brings Plenty (incumbent)  Academic Professional. Native American Student Services.
  • Brian Elliott   Non-Tenure Track. Philosophy. 
  • Aleksandar Jokic  Tenured. Philosophy.
  • Vacant

Vice President for Grievances and Academic Freedom (1 candidate. Vote for 1)

Bill Knight
Associate Professor. English. Tenured.

Grievance work is, in my opinion, among the most important work our union can do. It means more than facing the many challenges of upholding our collective bargaining agreement. It's far bigger than holding administration responsible or defending faculty and academic professional rights. And it goes well beyond the vital, ongoing struggles for academic freedom and institutional democracy that animate us all. It encompasses all these things, but the real work of the VP for Grievances is to energetically weave all of these projects and commitments into individual, sympathetic connections that integrate the personal, the institutional, and the political. Since I began work with the Grievances committee in 2022 and in my time as VP for Legislative and Political action, I've worked hard to imagine and implement political positions and sensitive and timely responses that originate in genuine care for our university community and our commitments to a thriving democratic institution and our educational mission. I would love to continue this important work as VP of Grievances in 2023 and beyond.
Service: I've served as Councilor-at-Large (February 2022 to December 2023); as a member of the Legislative and Political Action committee (Sept to Dec 2022); interim Vice President for Legislative and Political Action (Dec 2022 to present); a member of the Grievances Committee (early 2022 to present); and a member of the search committees for both of our present director positions (Oct to Dec 2022).
[This statement was submitted by the nominee]Vice President for Communications and Public Relations (1 candidate. Vote for 1)
Lacey Friedly 
Communications Coordinator. Transportation Research and Education Center. Academic Professional.
I came to PSU as a graduate student in 2011, and after earning my master's in publishing I started working full-time in communications for the Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC). At that time I was a classified employee and joined SEIU. I was involved with SEIU's activities until February of 2020, when I was hired into an unclassified position and became an AAUP member. I have always voted and on occasion have attended union functions, such as observing bargaining sessions, but am looking for ways to become more involved. I strongly believe in the work that the union engages in, to support employees and help make PSU a better, more inclusive and rewarding place to work. Since October 2022 I've been a member of the AAUP Communications Committee, and hope for the opportunity to take a more hands-on approach in supporting the work of AAUP. I would welcome the chance to apply my skills in writing, web design, social media and marketing to expand the union's reach and help build membership.
 [This statement was submitted by the nominee]Secretary (1 candidate. Vote for 1)
Elena Sokol (incumbent)
Department Manager. Political Science. Academic Professional.
I've served as the Secretary of AAUP since May 2022. I have many years of administrative experience in higher education, both at PSU and elsewhere, and my current academic professional position as a Department Manager in the College of Urban and Public Affairs an has allowed me to develop my skills and broaden my knowledge of PSU. In difficult times a union that can effectively advocate for all PSU employees is more important than ever. I want to continue being a part of the collective effort to work towards equity, fair treatment, and work/life quality for all AAUP members.
 [This statement was submitted by the nominee] Treasurer (1 candidate. Vote for 1)
Peter Kramer
Rec Clubs Coordinator. Campus Rec. Academic Professional.
My name is Peter Kramer. I'm the Rec Clubs Coordinator within Campus Recreation. I started at Portland State as a graduate assistant in fall 2009 and became the full-time coordinator in 2012. I've been a AAUP Unit Rep with Campus Recreation since spring of 2018. I joined our union because of the positive support it provides us as PSU employees.
[This statement was submitted by the nominee]Councilors At Large (3 candidates. Vote for 3) (Listed in alphabetical order)
Trevino Brings Plenty (incumbent)
Coordinator. Native American Student Services. Academic Professional.
Thank you, everyone, I am honored for the Councilor-at-Large nomination again. I have been an Academic Professional at PSU since 2016 as the Native American Student Services Coordinator for Multicultural Retention Services under the Global Diversity and Inclusion department. I believe worker engagement makes a strong union. I am committed to identifying and advancing initiatives that increase the number of active members in our union. Organizing goes hand in hand with education. Understanding and acknowledging labor history and the sacrifices made to get where we are now is paramount as we continue to maintain gains and successes. It is worker solidarity which transforms working conditions and is a constant and changing endeavor. I look forward to the opportunity to work with this union and its members in the future.
[This statement was submitted by the nominee] 

Aleksandar Jokic
Professor. Philosophy. Tenured.
Aleksandar Jokic joined PSU in 1999. He had served as a long-time union representative in his department from 2007 to 2016. Energized by the vigorous and successful bargaining 2014 campaign that saw faculty, students, and academic professionals join forces in an unprecedented way he was motivated to serve on the PSU-AAUP Executive Council for two years 2015-16. With the inside view of the importance of the work by the EC, and the dedication of all its members his return as Councilor at Large could be of mutual benefit. Many, and increasingly more serious challenges remain, not just for our union, but also nationally; arguably we are entering a period of particularly hard times for the unions and higher education in general. This will mean working tirelessly to strengthen our union and having it operate in solidarity with other organizations that have similar interests. Serving on the EC in that hard period had given all the sense of importance of intersectionality. By joining the next EC Aleksandar Jokic could contribute to tackling some interesting and demanding tasks.
[This statement was submitted by the nominee]

Brian Elliott
Associate Professor. Philosophy. Non-Tenure-Track.

I came to Portland State in 2010 after holding a tenured faculty position in Dublin, Ireland. As an NTTF at PSU I have continuously experienced the vital role the faculty union plays in protecting our working conditions, academic freedom, and our ability to create an optimal learning environment for our students. Over the twelve years I have worked at PSU I have also witnessed the pivotal significance the AAUP has played in strengthening the position of non-tenure-track colleagues and in preventing further erosion of faculty job security. As we face a new era of post-COVID austerity, I believe the collective bargaining power of the union will be more needed than ever. I pledge to be a hard-working, diligent, and conscientious member of the Executive Council.

[This statement was submitted by the nominee]

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