PSU-AAUP’s Role in Helping Everyone through this COVID-19 Crisis

April 15, 2020 / PSU-AAUP

Over the last month, your union, PSU-AAUP, has been active on the frontlines to ensure all of us — faculty and academic professionals — have everything we need to maintain the continuity of our service to students and our community.

During this period, we have been working with our sister unions, PSUFA (part-time faculty) & GEU (graduate employees), to make sure their critically important roles, and their needs, would not get neglected in the sudden and abrupt transition to remote operations. 

If you missed our earlier updates, see our March 25 and April 2 communications. 

In a nutshell, through our daily advocacy we identified and spurred PSU to action in removing bottlenecks in access to equipment for remote work. We advocated for reimbursements for internet costs. We made sure that faculty course evaluations are not used during this period, and that academic professionals’ annual evaluations be postponed. We have strongly urged and encouraged PSU administration to pursue a crisis plan that, above all, recognizes and respects the need for all of us to balance caregiving and parenting with the stresses of unplanned remote work. When there have been instances of insensitive micro-managing, we have stepped in and provided relief (more below).

Four key agreements we worked out with the PSU administration about this crisis period: 

  1. Course evaluations will not be used, 

  2. Tenure-clocks will be stopped for those impacted (unless you want to opt out), 

  3. Unused funds in individual professional development accounts (IPDA) will roll over for another year, 

  4. Annual evaluations of Academic Professionals will be postponed until after normal operations are resumed. 

The details of the last three are being finished, and the agreements will soon go out for your ratification.

The upshot of our contribution to our collective efforts: at the end of week 2, spring term enrollment (student credit hours) is slightly higher than what PSU had forecast before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

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