Subject: New Chancellor must respect democratic workplace rights
From: "Chad Alan Goldberg"
Date: Mon, May 19, 2008 3:33 am
Dear Chancellor Search Committee members,
As a tenured faculty member at UW-Madison and a union member (UFAS, AFT Local 223), I am writing to express my dismay and outrage at remarks made by two finalists for the position of UW-Madison Chancellor.
It has come to my attention that Rebecca Blank reportedly said that unions foster "adversarial" relations and work best for workers who are "lower on the totem pole" than faculty, and that Tim Mulcahy reportedly vowed that he would oppose "faculty and academic staff organizing at all costs."
These autocratic attitudes are unacceptable. Indeed, it is precisely attitudes like these that push faculty and academic staff to join unions in the first place. To oppose the right of faculty and academic staff to organize -- a right that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the laws and traditions of the great state of Wisconsin -- is a situation abhorrent to democracy. I fear that if Rebecca Blank or Tim Mulcahy were to become Chancellor, it would foster disruptive conflict rather than cooperation at our university, cause irreparable harm to the reputation of UW-Madison, and make it difficult for the university to recruit and retain the best faculty and staff. In short, it is not unions that pose a threat to UW-Madison, but the aggressive union-busting advocated by these two candidates. I urge you to do the right thing now rather than foster antagonism and undermine the morale of the educators and staff on whom you depend: Tell Blank and Mulcahy that their adversarial and reactionary attitudes toward unions make them unfit for the position of UW-Madison Chancellor.
Chad Alan Goldberg
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
George L. Mosse Visiting Professor, Hebrew University, Israel (spring 2008)
8116B William H. Sewell Social Science Building
1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Home page: http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~cgoldber/
Monday, May 19, 2008
Here's something to consider as you write to the search committee about the next chancellor: