In late September, the AAUP chapter at Wright State University in Ohio signed its first contract and workload agreement with the university covering about 180 fulltime non-tenure-eligible faculty members, giving them unprecedented job security and other benefits.
Under the new contract, non-tenure-eligible faculty members have a “continuing appointment with no identified date of termination” once they reach their seventh year of service, and they can be dismissed only if appropriate criteria are met and due-process procedures are followed. The chapter characterized these criteria and procedures as providing tenure-like job security. The agreement also includes salary increases and specifications on workloads.
Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the national AAUP and a professor of economics at Wright State, served as chief negotiator for the union. Fichtenbaum stated, “We are pleased that our non-tenure-eligible faculty will now have reasonable teaching loads and de facto tenure-like job security that tangibly protects their academic freedom; this protection in turn will certainly enhance the quality of education Wright State University provides to students.”