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As a public service to the faculty of the University of
Minnesota, I'm posting the following note which I picked
up on the calc-reform listserv. With all due respect to
"fairness", the President of the U. of Minn. has circulated
a response to this on the internet. However, as the corporate
media will undoubtly assure its mass circulation, I'll not
do their work for them; their e-mail is probably on the way.
As an employee in the private sector, this message suggests
one thing to me, Its downsizing time !
- Al Barron.

- - - - - - - -

University of Minnesota President Niels Hasslemo and the
university's Board of Regents are launching a serious
campaign to end tenure not only at the University, but
nationally as well. The threat to tenure nationwide is
serious enough to warrant strong protests to the the
president and the Board of Regents (address for both: Morill
Hall, Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455) from all
over the country by individual faculty, faculty
organizations, and professional societies.

At its December meeting, the Board of Regents set May 1996
as a deadline to effect changes in the tenure code in order
that they may be put into effect in the fall. President
Hasselmo in a letter of November 20, 1995 to Regents Chair
Thomas R. Reagan wrote: "Tenure imposes rigidities of lack
of flexibility... It is assumed that the proportion of
faculty who are tenured must decrease." Hasselmo not only
proposed reduction of the number of tenured faculty
(apparently to under 50% of the faculty), but also proposed
a redefinition of tenure that would make it possible to
eliminate faculty by dissolution of their departments (by
shifting the place of tenure from the university as a whole
to one's department) or to force individual faculty to leave
by reduction of their salaries (in Hasselmo's words:
"partial decoupling of compensation from tenure").
President Hasselmo and the Regents initiated these moves and
set a schedule for their implementation without meaningful
consultation with the faculty, seriously undermining the
institution of faculty governance. The Regents have the
power to abolish tenure with or without Senate concurrence
and recent statements by some adminstrators and regents
indicate the intention to do so. This is why faculty
collective bargaining to save tenure is on the agenda today.
Aware that tenured is honored at all research universities
and at essentially all other public institutions of higher
learning, President Hasselmo also recommended that the
Regents initiate a national discussion on tenure, which one
can only interpret as a recommendation for dismantling
tenure nationwide.

To defend themselves from this threat, a faculty union
was formed this month, the University Faculty Alliance
(UFA). The UFA is now soliiciting signatures on
authorization statements for collective-bargaining
reprentation. If sufficient numbers of signatures are
obtained, the union can request a cease and desist order
from the state Bureau of Mediation Services to prevent
changes in the conditions of employment until a
collective-bargaining representation election is held. The
adminstration is attempting to counter this faculty
reaction by a widespread disinformation campaign in the
local media that no serious changes are being contemplated
for the present, despite the fact that at its February
meeting, the Regents did not even discuss rescinding its
decision to act on tenure changes at its mid-May meeting.

Please circulate this news was widely as possible

Erwin Marquit
School of Physics and Astronomy
116 Church Street SE
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455-0112

(612) 922-7993