Faculty Association wants contract by Halloween

By Gus Bode

Morteza Daneshdoost, president of Faculty Association, wants Administration to focus on short-term planning

When members of the Faculty Association conduct further negotiations with the Administration on Tuesday, it will be with the hope of having a new contract for faculty by Halloween.

Morteza Daneshdoost, president of the Faculty Association, spoke at the SIU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, where he explained his goal to the trustees.


“I have challenged the SIU Board of Trustees to join the Faculty Association to commit to reaching an agreement by Halloween,” he said. “I hope that they take my challenge and invitation in good faith.”

The SIU Board of Trustees approves contracts made between the faculty and Administration.

Besides the negotiations on Tuesday, an additional session is scheduled for Sept. 24. Daneshdoost remains confident that reaching an agreement by the end of October is possible if both sides work hard.

“It’s very much possible if there is a will,” he said. “If there is a will, it can be done.”

SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler agreed that Daneshdoost’s hope for a contract by Halloween is good.

“That’s a good goal and I hope we’re able to do that,” he said. “I think both sides want that, and I believe we’re making some progress.”

Daneshdoost also said he is concerned that the University’s long-term goals – such as SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler’s Southern at 150 proposal and SIU President James Walker’s 2020 Vision plan – may diminish the importance of the faculty negotiations.


But Wendler said it is important to avoid focusing only on short-term plans without looking ahead to the future.

“I understand the short-term problems,” he said. “The danger at the same time is to only focus on the short term.”

Additionally, Daneshdoost also said he was disappointed to see a lack of faculty and students on Walker’s 2020 Vision Committee.

“The committee was made of corporate executives, politicians and former and present administrators,” he said. “These are not the people who are dealing with students and the issues of research, teaching and service day in and day out.

“It very much sounds like making future family plans without asking the family where they want to be, especially when those who are going to be here by 2020 are, hopefully, the faculty.”

But since Walker’s 2020 Vision plan consists of formulating a broad set of goals for both campuses, Wendler said that using a largely administrative committee is a simpler way to conduct the planning.

“The president’s effort is a little more different,” he said.

Since the Southern at 150 plan is for the Carbondale campus, Wendler said input was gained from faculty and students of SIUC. About 200 people gave input for Wendler’s plan, he said.

Reporter Ben Botkin can be reached at [email protected]