Candidate Statements

William Fothergill, Counseling & Wellness

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William Fothergill is presently an Associate Counselor in Student Wellness Services and a Licensed Professional Counselor. Mr. Fothergill has been employed at Central Connecticut State University for over nineteen years and he is a proud undergraduate alumnus. His employment history has included working part-time and fulltime as a member of the university’s AAUP counseling faculty. He has also worked as an adjunct instructor in the CCSU Counseling & Family Therapy Department and served on several university committees. He presently serves as a Senator on the Faculty Senate, member of the Center for Africana Studies Committee, Mentoring Committee, and University Success Committee. He has also participated in the Curriculum Committee and chaired the Africana Center Student Services Sub-Committee. Mr. Fothergill is an active member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Statement

It is a distinct pleasure to seek a position as an AAUP Representative. I believe my experiences and commitment to this institution will serve me well in the role of representative. My professional experiences have afforded me the opportunity of working as a community organizer and an equity activist. The quote, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, frames my approach to advocacy. These are both challenging and exciting times for our union. The time is now to unite and work collectively to the threats to academic freedom, shared governance, and job security. I believe we need representatives who are willing to work in the best interest of our entire campus. We need representatives who are sensitive to the diverse needs of the AAUP membership. Effective representation includes “advocating, representing, and defending the interests of her/his fellow employees”. It is crucial to have individuals who understanding, appreciating, and respect the unique contractual duties of the four factions that make up the AAUP faculty (e.g. Instructors, Counselors, Librarians, and Coaches).

I have worked as a member of the full, part-time, and adjunct faculty. In my present position, I also have a deep appreciation and understanding for those serving as a member of the union’s minority faculty (i.e., Counselor) whose voices are sometimes lost due to our small numbers. Even though our duties may vary, we are all committed to the wellbeing, retention, and success of our students. My work experiences, on this campus, have helped me to appreciate the importance of effective representation at all level when addressing Collective Bargaining Agreement issues.

As a Representative, I will commit myself to celebrating the diversity of the membership by making sure that everyone has a voice and every voice is heard.  As a representative, I will work to safeguard the process for the entire membership. Collectively we must work and support the contractual rights for all of our members.


 

Sue Holt, Psychology


I have been teaching in the Psychology Department at CCSU for seven years.  My AAUP membership began more than 20 years ago when I was one of two AAUP members at a state university in the south.  I serve currently at CCSU as an AAUP representative.  I have attended AAUP Summer Institutes, and have participated in finance and negotiation workshops to better understand these issues and to share the knowledge with our faculty.  Through formal and informal meetings, I learned strategies used by others to tackle issues that now face the state university system. For example, we are discussing sticky articulation agreement issues.  Based on poor outcomes elsewhere that resulted in homogeneous course offerings within their systems, we are holding firm to our conviction that each school, in the newly reorganized higher education system, retains its identity and unique mission while clarifying and facilitating the transfer among schools.  Our strength derives from the diversity of missions and programs that provide our students with variety and flexibility statewide.  I have testified at the state legislature and advocated preservation of each institution’s mission and against the homogenization of offerings.   I also attend AAUP campus events to learn the perspectives of fellow faculty.  We face many issues during the higher education reorganization process and my experience with faculty concerns helps me address these issues from your perspectives.  I want to continue to represent you in this manner.  I plan to further my education at AAUP sponsored meetings and learn effective methods to deal successfully with full and part time faculty matters.  I believe that higher education has become a target of governmental meddling due to failed state policies in areas of public education and economic development.  State governments have responded by unprecedented interference in higher education, yet lack the expertise to do it wisely.  I believe that shared governance is threatened and one of our major responsibilities at this time is to provide the legislature and new Board of Regents with policies that do make sense and increase our educational effectiveness.  The future of Connecticut lies in educating our young people well, as we do at CCSU, and the vast majority of our students remain in the state.  We need to advocate for our students as well as ourselves.  We cannot permit the state to be shortsighted at this difficult time.  I will fight any effort to diminish our roles or provide students with less than the optimal education.

 

David P. Johnson, Geography


Since I began teaching in the Department of Geography at CCSU four years ago, I have been active with the CCSU-AAUP Chapter. I am a member of the CCSU-AAUP Part-time Advisory Committee, reporting monthly to the CCSU-AAUP Executive Committee on the committee’s activities. And I am an elected member of the Faculty Senate. Upon my return to teaching, my active involvement with the local CCSU-AAUP chapter has enabled me to attend several national conferences, meetings and workshops, including the AAUP-CBC New England Regional meeting, the AAUP-CBC Summer Institute and the Coalition on Contingent and Academic Labor Conference (COCAL). Prior to teaching at CCSU I was active on many boards, both local and national, in my successful private industry career.

My objective as a CSU Council Representative is to continue to aggressively promote shared governance, academic freedom and excellent working conditions for all members of our faculty.

Thank you for your vote.


 

John Mueller, History


I’ve taught History here at CCSU for more than a decade; I’ve been a union activist almost as long.  Experience can matter and does at this  moment.  Several of our gubernatorial candidates are holding Wisconsin up as a model.  One of my goals as a delegate has been to acknowledge the differing interests of members of our unit, while stressing commonalities.  At this time, more than ever, we must hang together or we will surely all hang separately.  We must fight for our rights, and by extension, the right of our students to have a nuanced and affordable education.  Our working conditions are their learning conditions.  We must protect them both.  I ask for your vote.

John O’Connor, Sociology


I am an Associate Professor in the Sociology Department.  I have been at CCSU since 2003, and have served on a number of departmental and university committees.  For the last two years, I represented my department at the AAUP Department Liaisons Meeting.  Given the political challenges that our union (and the larger labor movement) is facing today, I would like to be involved in the difficult struggles ahead.  As a council representative, I would support and advocate for enhanced union democracy, the defense of tenure, preserving academic freedom, and reducing student tuition/fees.

 

Louise Williams, History 


I have served on the executive council of the CCSU-AAUP since Fall of 2010 and am seeking re-election for a third term.  While currently I am a tenured professor at CCSU, I worked as a contingent faculty member for many years in a number of different universities before coming here.  As a result, I am able to understand the particular problems and concerns of both permanent and adjunct faculty.  Since I started serving on the executive committee, the CSU-AAUP has been forced to respond to quite a number of serious issues, from the challenges to the tenure system in the refusal to replace one-year emergency hires to the reorganization of the entire university system.  Throughout all of this I have seen how important it is to have a union that stays on top of all the fast moving developments and responds as quickly and effectively as possible.  I believe our current union leadership is working very conscientiously to protect our university community as a whole, as well as its individual members.  But there still is a great deal to be done and some very serious challenges ahead.  I would like to continue helping the process of strengthening the CSU-AAUP and making it as active as possible.  I am committed to expanding the participation of the union membership in decision making and union activities, and to ensuring that the union is proactive in advocating for faculty governance, protecting faculty tenure, and increasing the rights and benefits of contingent faculty.  I also support efforts of the CSU-AAUP to coordinate its activities with those of other universities and unions throughout the nation to protect quality higher education, preserve the union movement, and advocate for social justice for all citizens.  In addition, since the summer of 2013 I have acted as Chair of the CCSU-AAUP Contract Administration and Grievance Committee.  In that capacity I have seen firsthand how important it is for faculty members to have the support and advocacy of the union to help ensure fairness in tenure and promotion decisions and in any administrative action that might result in discipline, as well as to make sure that our Collective Bargaining Agreement is not violated.  It is in this way that the AAUP serves its members on a daily basis and protects the integrity of our contract.  I would be honored to continue acting in this capacity.