Central State faculty union calls out multiple ‘persistent’ issues with university

Inconsistent advising, lack of administrative staff and non-competitive faculty pay among issues listed.

The professor’s union at Central State recently sent a letter to the CSU Board of Trustees listing several systemic issues the union has found at the university.

The American Association of University Professors at Central State found issues with non-competitive pay and an unwillingness for the university’s administration to work with the union and staff Senate. The AAUP-CSU also found issues with staffing at the university that make it difficult for students to graduate on time.

“The central concern that AAUP-CSU sees is a consistent lack of regard for shared governance — faculty are asked to do more with less resources, less staff across non-academic units, and less respect for the processes which are intendent to assist in the running of the university,” the letter said.

The letter names current president Jack Thomas, who is stepping down at the end of June, and provost F. Erik Brooks. But the union also said it believes the issues are “persistent and beyond the scope of a single administrative figure.”

The university’s administration said in a statement they are committed to working with the union and university Senate.

“The University values the enormous contribution faculty makes to the success of our students, and we share the faculty’s commitment to excellence at Central State University,” the administration said in a statement. “We agree a strong faculty and a commitment to shared governance are critical to attracting and retaining the qualified faculty responsible for the success of our students while they are attending CSU and after they graduate and enter the workforce.”

Administrators added: “We welcome an open dialogue with and constructive feedback from faculty.”

Some of the key issues listed in the letter included:

  • Overworked administrative staff due to staff turnover and understaffing in non-academic offices, which means teachers and students do not have the support they need.
  • Strain in the Office of the Registrar, which works on transcripts, auditing student reports, approving students for graduation and registering students for classes and has seen almost all staff leave and three different registrars in three years.
  • Multiple entities advising students, leading to confusion about what the student needs to graduate.
  • Non-competitive pay. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, on average across assistant professors at Historically Black colleges and universities, the pay was about $63,080 in 2021, while assistant professors at Central State make about $54,494. Staff said tenured professors make about $2,000 less than their comparable universities, according to the letter.
  • Faculty no longer receive regular updates on enrollment.
  • Faculty are not given insight into university finances.
  • Outdated technology across the campus.

About the Author