Administrators advise students on strike preparation

By Gus Bode

As the Thursday strike date approaches, the question of what students should do in the case of one is becoming more and more alarming.

Chancellor Rita Cheng’s website provides information to students if a strike begins.

Students are expected to attend class as usual and there will be consequences for those who do not, according to the website.


Rod Sievers, university spokesman, said Thursday would be a rough transition, as administrators have no idea which professors will strike.

“The deans and department chairs are going to have to do a census, if you will, of classrooms and see who’s there and see who’s not,” Sievers said. “Someone will visit every classroom to make sure if a teacher is there or not, and if not, students will get further instruction.”

The chancellor’s site states, “For those faculty who choose to honor the strike, the administration will utilize qualified and experienced instructors to continue the students’ educational experience.”

Sievers said administrators would primarily focus on colleague support in instructors’ absence.

“There are a majority of faculty who won’t strike and they’re being asked to cover the classes of faculty who may,” Sievers said.

Sievers said there are a number of retired faculty members living in the area who have offered to lend their services, as well as instructors affiliated with the university who work at other universities.

Despite these offers, Sievers said the administration is in the process of making sure replacements are qualified and have the proper credentials for individual courses.


In the event of a strike, Sievers said replacement instructors would be determined Thursday.

He said because of striking professors’ inability to access university tools such as SIU webmail and BlackBoard, substitutes would have access to the latter to take attendance, collect assignments and communicate with students.

Sievers said the instructors would be expected to follow professors’ syllabi, but this would depend on individual departments and course instructors. Grading will adhere to the syllabi and carry the same weight as those administered by faculty.

The chancellor’s website does not include details on distance learning courses and Sievers said the university has yet to assemble an alternative plan of action regarding online courses.