Category Archives: Uncategorized

THANK YOU NEIU: The Teach Out 4/27 in Springfield was Fabulous!

Dear NEIU:

Thanks to everyone–whether you got on the bus or stayed on campus–for making the Teach Out in Springfield a success. Teamwork between AFSCME and UPI with help from student organizations and SGA members got us up early and on the buses.

Big thanks to the clean-up crew who stayed behind and put away breakfast as well as the folks getting the buses loaded with snacks before we left.

Thanks to everyone who taught about the budget crisis in their classes here on campus, to those who made their assignments work to accommodate the trip, and to the university’s administration for recognizing the importance of co-curricular learning experiences in their support of the trip to Springfield.

Delighted thanks to the campus bookstore for running a sale on t-shirts in support of 4/27. Was that the sweetest action ever or what? Check out some of that Northeastern wear below.

Thanks to UPI 4100 President John Miller and all members of the Local for conceiving of and making this event happen.

And lastly, biggest thanks to the bus captains who got us all to Springfield and back again: Tim Barnett, Jon Hageman, Paul Lempke, Nanette Potee, Melinda Storie and Lisa Wallis.


UPI Response to Fwd: Furlough program to begin during Spring Break

Dear UPI:

The administration’s implementation of furloughs has not been agreed to by the union, and would thus break the Collective Bargaining Agreement if realized over Spring Break. We will remain in negotiation and in communication with the administration.

But now we must also consider how we, in response, might refuse to fulfill our obligations under the contract as well.

I want to ask that all union members teaching this semester immediately stop using D2L to record grades. Please transfer your grades to paper or to a device not owned by the State of Illinois so we can maintain control of our work.

I hope to see everyone next Thursday and I also want everyone to hold on and not panic. I mean it: we are going to be alright.

We have been taking steps toward a response to the budget crisis already–we have plans in place, multiple strategies that we can choose among–and we have broad support across the state and in the city.

We are going to work through this challenge and fight for a resolution to Rauner’s continuing attempts to destroy higher education in Illinois.

In solidarity,


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard J. Helldobler
Date: Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 12:30 PM
Subject: Furlough program to begin during Spring Break

Inline image 1
TO: University Community

FROM: Richard J. Helldobler, Interim President

DATE: March 3, 2017

RE: Furlough program to begin during Spring Break

During the week of Northeastern’s Spring Break, Monday, March 20, through Sunday, March 26, the University will close, and all employees — including those represented by collective bargaining units — will be on furlough for five days. The University will be officially closed with minimal staffing for public safety and operational continuity. The salary loss for five furlough days will be spread over five weeks of pay.

The Spring Break closure will have the least impact on instruction. Additionally, there are modest energy savings with a shutdown, allowing for HVAC in buildings that contain research animals.

If governmental leaders in Springfield do not put an end to this budget crisis soon, Northeastern will be forced to require furlough days on top of the five during Spring Break. If the University receives adequate state funding before Spring Break we will hit pause on the program and determine our next steps.

Student appointments will be terminated prior to the implementation of this furlough, in accordance with a new Civil Service Furlough rule, which provides exceptions for student appointments required for health and welfare or public safety, or appointments that are part of a student’s financial aid or for academic credit. Students covered by these exceptions may work during the Spring Break furlough and will be so notified. Additionally, extra-help workers’ employment will also be terminated at the start of Spring Break.

The University continues to negotiate the furlough program with its collective bargaining units. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about furloughs will be available early next week.

On Tuesday at 3:05 p.m., I will host an Open Discussion for all members of the University Community. It will take place in Alumni Hall and will be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend in person. There will be an opportunity to ask questions during the event. As always, you are invited to submit questions or comments through our University Feedback form at

These are incredibly challenging and unprecedented times for Northeastern. The fact that this will put a strain on your own personal finances is not lost on me. As I mentioned before, the decision to implement a furlough program was not made lightly and was a last resort to keep our doors open until our next infusion of cash this fall. I thank you for your continued commitment to Northeastern and our students. I sincerely appreciate your dedication and sacrifice.

Welcome to Fall 2016 and Heads Up UPI!

Dear UPI:

I hope everyone is doing well and getting ready for Fall semester to start up in our classrooms this week.

I’ve got one reminder. For Teaching and Resource Professionals, Time Reporting begins on August 16, 2016. Reports are filed with your chair at the end of every month. If you have questions on how to fill out the forms, please ask your chairs and let me know if you have any further questions.

Here’s a request. Please prepare for more events in support of Public Higher Education and NEIU this coming year. As you are putting the finishing touches on your syllabi, does it make sense to have a component that emphasizes civic and professional responsibility?

Last year, one of our colleagues shared that she sees civic engagement as part of the professional training of teachers in COE. For all of us, could we replicate this insight by writing in ways to reward our participation and encourage civic engagement? This recognition is about excellence in our pedagogy–not just about our present struggles–and responds to and would help foster the NEIU Baccalaureate Goals.

Events on the horizon this semester include:

  • a new MAP Grants Postcard Campaign for Fund Our Future,
  • a Moral Mondays Action on 9/12 with our Labor Coalition partners and other groups suffering under irresponsible leadership from our governor,
  • and the AFT sponsored Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools on October 6 to help us think about problems in our state and municipal systems of finance.

Looking forward to it all and to seeing everyone soon!


CAS Faculty and Staff: Dean’s Search Meeting Tues 8/23, 2:00-3:30

Dear Arts and Sciences UPI People:

All TPs and Instructors should make time next week for the College Assemble to begin discussion of the new dean search in Arts and Sciences. Location is TBA. Please watch your inboxes for more info and plan to be there.


Dear Faculty of the College of Arts & Sciences,

At the request of the Provost, I am calling for the first of two meetings of the College of Arts & Sciences Faculty Assembly for the purpose of providing feedback about how the search for the new Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences should proceed.

This first meeting of the assembly will be on Tues 23 August from 2:00-3:30 (location TBD shortly); the second will be held in the second or third full week of September. These meetings will be prelude to the formation of a team that will be responsible for developing the leadership profile that will guide the search and screen process.

Key questions regarding the search include whether to conduct an internal search or an external search, and if an internal search is done, whether to have the successful candidate appointed “permanently” or for a set term (to be followed by either permanent appointment, or an external search prior to the end of the term appointment). As such, much of our initial conversation should address the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options (as well as exploration of other approaches that might come to mind).

Things that have been identified from prior conversations between the Provost and faculty as being relevant to the question of whether to do an internal or external search include the cost of doing an external search (~ $15k), the challenges of attracting good external candidates in the face of the political and fiscal landscape of the state, the advantage of having a new set of eyes in the office of the dean vs. the advantage of having someone who already knows who we are and the challenges that we face.

In addition, this is our opportunity to identify what we believe are the opportunities and challenges for the college, the things we want to keep and what do we want to change, and the qualities we are looking for in the next dean.

Regardless, the Provost has indicated that he will likely appoint an interim for the spring semester, and that he hopes to develop the leadership profile and name the search and screen committee in the fall, followed by selection of candidates for phone interviews in late January/February, conducting on-campus interviews in March/April, and a start date of 1 July 2017 for the new dean.

Provost (soon to be Interim President} Helldobler has offered to meet with us to address questions and concerns, and I have accepted this offer.

So … please plan to join me and your fellow members of the CAS College Assembly next week, and come prepared to share your thoughts.


John Kasmer
Chair, CAS Faculty Assembly

August 20: you are invited to learn and share what we know about organizing

Dear UPI,

We hope you can join UPI 4100 and our labor partners in the Chicago Labor Coalition for Troublemakers School, August 20, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at UIC.

Planning to be on campus to welcome students that Saturday? Excellent! Try coming out for part of the day at UIC and get in on this training and coalition building.

We are relatively stable at NEIU, but we and our students and the state are still under threat from the poor management that is passing itself off as government in Chicago and Illinois.

Check out the link below for more information and for sign up. Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts

In solidarity,


PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Software Changes for TP and RP Evaluation

Dear Tenured and Tenure-Track Teaching and Resource Professionals:

NEIU is changing the portfolio application software for retention, tenure, and promotion. Beginning in Fall 2016, we will move from LiveText to Tk20.

What do you need to know and do?

  1. If you are going up for Tenure and Promotion to Associate this Fall, you have the option to stay with and file your portfolio in LiveText this year. (Please note, LiveText will not be available for future promotions).
  2. If you are in retention years 2, 3, 4, or 5, you will need to transition to Tk20 this Fall for submitting your retention portfolio in January 2017. Here is the site on how to make your portfolio in the Tk20 format and there will be trainings in the Fall to help with this new system.
  3. If you have previously been tenured and/or promoted and want to save your LiveText materials, please visit this site,, for details on how to export your portfolio from LiveText. Your materials MUST be exported by November 1, 2016.
  4. If you joined the university before September 2006 you still have the option of a paper portfolio for promotion to Professor and Professional Advancement Increases.

As always, there will be information and training sessions for faculty this Fall with me and Mark McKernin and Kenneth Beyer and you are strongly urged to join us for these sessions The schedule will be available in late August.

Many thanks to everyone for your attention to this transition, best of luck, and enjoy the process of reviewing your wonderful work at NEIU!

Message from the NEIU/UPI Legislative Committee

Dear UPI,

There is an important message from the NEIU/UPI Legislative Committee on the off-campus email list. Please check it out today. The email announces crucial next steps the union will be taking in response to the still limited funding the university has received from the state.

Are you not on the off-campus union list? Please send me your non-neiu email and we will add you.

Thanks to the Committee–Paul Lempke, Nancy Matthews and Chuck Steinwedel–for the work they’ve done so far and for actions to come!

In solidarity,


NO FALL FURLOUGHS – Fwd: Budget Update 7-1-16

Dear UPI,

I’m forwarding President Hahs’ message to make sure everyone knows there will be no Sacrifice Pay Days this coming Fall. We are done. And please remember that all other dimensions of the contract were unaffected by the agreement we had with the administration. We will be getting our across-the-board raises, sabbaticals and educational leaves will continue, excellence awards will continue and our workloads will remain the same.

I want to thank everyone in UPI for mobilizing and making the case for higher education. Your chapter officers and representatives and all members stood up and worked like crazy over the past year. We protested, canvassed, negotiated and threw the coolest APRIL 1 solidarity event ever.

The organizing by UPI at the Local has been fantastic. The support and work of our campus administration has been remarkable. Big thanks to all of our sister schools in UPI and to our allies at UIC and in AFSCME, IFT and CTU.

The fight continues and you will be hearing about further actions NEIU/UPI and UPI are planning to secure full funding for public universities this summer.

But for right now, relax and know we will be paid and we will be able to focus on our students and school this Fall.

Have a good holiday weekend!

In solidarity,


TO: University Community

FROM: Sharon Hahs, President

DATE: July 1, 2016

RE: Budget Update 7-1-16

Yesterday, the Illinois Senate and House passed SB2047, along with several other bills, providing a stopgap budget for higher education and the State. The Governor signed these bills last night. This stopgap is intended to keep the State running until after the November election. It is considered an 18-month budget.

For Northeastern, the legislation includes approximately $19.5 million for operations, about $1.2 million for roof and wall repairs, and some MAP funding for FY16 and FY17. MAP funding was passed as a total; today we will learn from ISAC the exact amount for Northeastern.

This certainly is good news. Even as we had determined prior to this funding that the University is stable and we would not reinstate the furlough program, we are relieved that there will be some funding for University priorities. We will be working over the next few weeks to determine allocations. (One priority will be to hold in reserve the equivalent of one month’s payroll for all employees).

While we start a new fiscal year today, we end a week that began with a Springfield press conference where I and other Illinois public university presidents restated the urgent need for adequate funding for higher education. This budget crisis has mobilized our respective universities, and we will continue to advocate for our students and their academic success.

Next Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the Auditorium we will use our meeting to provide information and address questions in a more informal manner. I encourage you to continue sending your comments and questions regarding Northeastern’s budget situation online.

On behalf of the Provost, Vice Presidents and myself, I thank each of you for your hard work and sacrifice that helped us through this crisis. We should now turn our attention to prepare to welcome our incoming class and continuing students.

Best wishes for a happy 4th of July weekend.

TOMORROW: Fund Our Schools Rally Downtown in the Morning Wednesday 6/22 in Support of CTU and Public Education in Illinois

Hope to see some UPI people TOMORROW, Wednesday, 6/22, 10:00 AM at City Hall 121 North Lasalle.

Lisa and I are for sure going. Who else? The struggle for education in Illinois is all one struggle and we need to be there for this rally.

Check out the link below. There are early morning feeder rallies too and it would be great for us to make some of those. Be very green in support of our Chicago teachers and IFT brothers and sisters.

Check out the link!