LIU-Brooklyn faculty senate calls for president’s resignation

Stephon Johnson | 10/20/2016, 10:59 a.m.
The lockout is over, but LIU-Brooklyn’s faculty senate isn’t done with LIU President Kimberly Cline.
Long Island University Brooklyn Wikipedia

The lockout is over, but LIU-Brooklyn’s faculty senate isn’t done with LIU President Kimberly Cline.

At a recent meeting of the university’s board of trustees, approximately 70-plus students and faculty rallied outside of the Cornell Club in Manhattan, calling for the resignation of Cline. Inside the meeting, the board reaffirmed support for the president.

LIU-Brooklyn faculty senate President Dr. Rebecca States reiterated the faculty’s call for Cline’s resignation. States also spoke to the board of trustees about the faculty’s vote of no confidence, citing the administration’s “unsustainable austerity budgeting along with attacks on academic freedom, faculty involvement in critical matters of pedagogy, transparency and governance.” She also noted “the draconian firings of staff and continual turnover of top administrators resulting in institutional instability.”

Back on Sept. 6, the faculty senate first affirmed the resolution of no confidence in Cline.

“Over the last three years, LIU President Kimberly Cline and VPAA Jeffrey Kane have sought to render LIU Brooklyn’s faculty peripheral to institutional decision making,” read the faculty senate’s statement. “Our authority and role in matters of curriculum, pedagogy, academic policies and standards, and established governance have been undermined. Academic freedom has been threatened, and our intellectual property rights trampled. Attacks on faculty are attacks on student learning.”

The statement continued, “Maintaining the rights of faculty, and supporting their exercise of their professional responsibilities, ensure that institutions of higher education can deliver on their promises to students. Damage to the institution has been so profound that our students are being harmed and the integrity of LIU Brooklyn’s academic programs has been undermined.”

The resolution aired multiple grievances, including the administration taking $30 million from the operating budget and transferring it to the endowment over the past two years, the administration cutting academic budgets and not reinstating the money, ignored or dismissed communications with faculty and the lockout that kicked off the first week of the 2016-17 academic year.

After their contract expired Aug. 31, LIUFF members were locked out of their classes, offices and jobs. According to the union, the proposed contract offered by LIU’s administration at the time lowered adjunct professor pay and faculty salaries when compared with their colleagues at LIU-Post in Brookville.

When the administration ended the lockout and both parties agreed to negotiate in good faith, Cline issued this letter to students:

“As part of the extension of the collective bargaining agreement, the union has agreed not to strike, which guarantees students continuity of instruction and certainty that the academic year will not be interrupted. We expect a professional transition that will be the foundation of advancing the academic year. Returning faculty will continue their courses in accordance with prepared syllabi. Students can be assured that they can continue their studies and enjoy a productive semester.”

LIU-Brooklyn’s faculty hopes to continue their work without Cline around.