Public Writing

Faculty Welfare Committee newsletters

 

These samples from the Faculty Welfare Committee newsletters range from December 1989 through April 1990.

These newsletters take up the story of a body of faculty members beginning to find their voices and stand up to a then-authoritarian Fairfield University administration. These faculty members base their convictions upon the time-honored AAUP principles of supporting excellence in higher education.

The full story begins earlier than December in the Fall semester of 1989, when the administration breaks precedent by violating their compensation agreement with the General Faculty -- once in public and once more in secret. Openly, the administration reveals that they have altered the faculty health care plan without consulting the General Faculty first. Secretly, the administration has also hired several faculty members at salaries well above the agreed-upon salary ranges. Plainly, the administration has not honored its annual contractual agreement with the faculty.

The administration's behavior provokes a speedy grassroots organizing drive by many faculty members who feel they have been dishonorably treated as well as unfairly compensated for their professional labors over a span of too many years. By December, when the FWC newsletters begin, the General Faculty has voted overwhelmingly to create an ad hoc Committee on Faculty Welfare, whose membership includes all interested members of the General Faculty. Its purpose is "to promote the welfare of the General Faculty through a study of salary, benefits, and associated working conditions." Its specific duties are "to administer a fund (dues) collected from interested faculty to secure legal counsel, a financial analyst, a negotiator, or any other services approved by dues-paying members" and  "to study and recommend proposals for improvement of salary, benefits, and working conditions to the General Faculty." Its motto is 'Excellence in Education."

The ongoing purpose of the FWC newsletters is to explain to the university at large both the principles and the actions of the faculty. Some readers are startled or shocked by the Newsletters, while others are encouraged and reassured. In all quarters of the university community, the Newsletters are closely read. During the Spring semester of 1990, events reach a crisis point.

Newsletter articles are solicited from faculty members and edited by Regan. She writes many articles herself. The articles trace the story arc from the faculty uprising to the brink of conflict and the eventual first-year outcome.

Faculty Welfare Committee Newsletter Issues:

December 1989: Volume 1, Number 1

January 22, 1990: Volume 1, Number 2

January 29, 1990: Volume 1, Number 3

February 5, 1990: Volume 1, Number 4

February 12, 1990: Volume 1, Number 5

February 20, 1990: Volume 1, Number 6

February 27, 1990: Volume 1, Number 7

March 5, 1990: Volume 1, Number 8

March 12, 1990: Volume 1, Number 9

March 19, 1990: Volume 1, Number 10

April 23, 1990: Volume 2, Number 1

Although Regan kept editing and contributing to the FWC/AAUP Newsletters herself for a limited time, these newsletters continue to be written and published regularly by the faculty today. The Fairfield University faculty has now established a proud tradition of shared governance with the administration.