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With Final Exams Looming, Faculty Strikes at U. of Illinois at Springfield

Faculty members at the University of Illinois at Springfield began a strike on Tuesday after failing to reach agreement on a new contract with the administration, The State Journal-Register reports. A message posted Monday evening on the website of UIS United Faculty, the faculty union, by its executive board and negotiating team opened plainly: “Bad news. Strike is on.”

Both tenured and tenure-track faculty members took to the picket lines on Tuesday, during the last week of classes and just a week before final examinations are scheduled. “As you know, we have been bargaining for some time now on reappointment, tenure, and promotion language that recognizes our existing policy, and which would have protections to ensure the fairness and integrity of the process,” the union’s website said. The university has been negotiating with the faculty union for several months.

“All of us would much rather be in the classroom,” Kristi Barnwell, an associate professor of history at the university and vice president of the faculty union, told the Journal-Register. “This isn’t something we came to lightly.”

The strike began at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

With the strike on the horizon last week, Clarice Ford, the university’s vice chancellor for student affairs, told students in a message that they should attend their scheduled classes, and if their professor had not arrived within 15 minutes, they could leave.

Some students also spoke out in support of the professors:

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