MEET OUR TEAM
New Leadership Delivering Results for Our Faculty
Since 1990, I have been a professor of finance in the Department of Accounting and Finance in the College of Business at Eastern Michigan University and have been involved in the leadership of the EMU-AAUP since 2003. I have an astounding amount of experience with regards to working for the union, supporting faculty rights through the contract, and negotiating with the EMU Administration on contracts and grievances.
I have served in a number of positions over my 13 years on the EMU-AAUP Executive Committee including President (7 years), Vice President (2 years), Treasurer (4 years) and grievance officer for many years. I was the chief negotiator for the 2012 and 2015 contracts and on the negotiation team in 2004, 2006, and 2010. In addition, I was a member of the National AAUP Council and the Collective Bargaining Council representing Michigan, as well as the President of the Michigan AAUP.
In 2016, I chose not run for a position on the EMU-AAUP Executive Committee, believing that the union had recovered under my leadership from its bankruptcy in 2004 and was in excellent financial shape with a good mature contract.
Over the last, 18 months, I chose to concentrate my service to my department and college. I was the College Council chair during the 2015/2106 and 2016/2017 academic years and have served on number of search committees helping recruit new faculty and a new dean of the COB.
I am currently running for President of the EMU-AAUP again as I believe the faculty will benefit from my leadership during the 2019 contract negotiations. In a right to work environment, with a budget strapped administration, this will be a tough negotiations for the faculty, and experience needs to be at the table for faculty to maintain their compensation, benefits, and their rights. I have the skills and experience to organize a well-run bargaining council, and handle tough adversarial negotiations with EMU.
I joined the faculty at EMU in 2006, and am Professor of Communication in the School of Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts. My extensive experience and commitment to the EMU-AAUP make me an ideal candidate for the open position of Vice President. I have previously held the executive committee positions of both member-at-large and secretary. I have been actively involved in the last three bargaining councils, was a member of the 2015 negotiation team, and was most recently one of two grievance officers for the chapter. I also participated as a faculty member on the joint DED committee and regularly conducted tenure and promotion workshops for faculty.
During my entire academic career, and in particular over seven years of working with the EMU-AAUP, I have been fully committed to the importance of a union and the principles of shared governance. Since 2016 I have continued my advocacy for faculty in several important ways: I have remained an active member of the CAS Advisory Council and recently was elected chair; I partnered with other senior colleagues and the Faculty Development Center to plan and conduct tenure and promotion workshops for first and second year faculty; I was part of a team of faculty who worked with the office of the Ombuds to review and craft guidelines for grade grievances, guidelines for how to support faculty dealing with academic dishonesty, and helped to streamline the documentation related to handling distressed and disruptive students in the classroom.
In particular, in my past capacity as Grievance Officer, I represented faculty from across campus and worked proactively with administration to effectively problem solve contractual issues. I helped faculty navigate the tenure and promotion process; supported faculty dealing with issues related to classroom disruptions, helping them navigate through to a solution that ensured a productive learning environment for all students; and advocated for fair and transparent decision making at the department, college, and university level, with robust faculty input.
Through my breadth and depth of experience, I am well versed on the contract and DEDs, and can understand and interpret quickly if situations are a violation of the contract. My contributions will be invaluable to the next Executive Committee charged with leading the EMU-AAUP.
I firmly believe in a strong faculty voice combined with a productive and proactive working relationship with the administration. I would be honored to serve with the committed and competent eight-member slate presented here, and represent the faculty and EMU-AAUP as your next Vice-President.
Mehmet E. Yaya
I joined Eastern Michigan University in 2009, and I currently am an Associate Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics. My specialization is Labor Economics, regularly teaching this course in our department. I have extensive experience in matters pertinent to labor and unions at the local and the national level.
I have been involved with our union, AAUP-EMU, since 2012. I served as a member at the Bargaining Council (Workload sub-committee) during 2012 negotiations. The same year, I was elected as an at-large member to the AAUP-EMU Executive Committee. During the following negotiations in 2015, I was a member of the Bargaining Council (Right-to-work subcommittee) as well as the Negotiating Team sitting across from the EMU administration negotiated on behalf of the entire faculty. Our successfully negotiated 2015 Collective Bargaining contract includes provisions for above-inflation raises (2.5% per year), contractual summer research funds, retention of 11% retirement contribution, affordable healthcare, and free parking for the last four years.
I have also served at the Michigan AAUP and AAUP National Council representing Michigan District from 2013-2018. As the Michigan representative, I had the opportunity to meet with the AAUP leadership in Washington, DC and discuss the difficulties that the unions face across the nation. Furthermore, attending the contract negotiation workshops organized by National AAUP was instrumental, especially in our 2015 negotiations.
Since 2016, I have assumed the Graduate Coordinator role in our Department. I was recently appointed to the Graduate Council by the College Advisory Council (CAC) representing the Social Sciences section of the College of Arts and Sciences. I look forward to provide our contractual right of exercising faculty input on issues related to graduate studies.
In this election, I am running for Treasurer of the AAUP-EMU. I embrace the incredible responsibility that comes with this important position. I am committed to financial responsibility and transparency with strict adherence to AAUP-EMU by-laws and procedures. If elected, I will bring my experience in financial management of non-profit organizations, unions, and contract negotiations.
This year marks my 18th at EMU as a Professor of Special Education in the College of Education. Throughout my tenure, I have served on several university committees that have allowed me to interact with colleagues from all colleges. My broad understanding about the unique needs of faculty within each college and their programs qualified me to serve AAUP members as an at-large representative for two years (2014-2016), which included being a member of the contract negotiation team for our present contract and as one of the chapter’s grievance officers.
My command of the contract and national AAUP training allowed me to execute the responsibilities of a grievance officer with efficiency and success. Faculty who had contacted me represented each of EMU’s colleges and sought help about concerns with department heads, directors, deans, and upper administration. In response, I made same-day contact with each faculty member who had voiced a concern about a contract violation or working condition complaint. Committed to immediate resolutions, I often secured a resolution that negated a need for the faculty member to proceed with an official grievance. In situations in which the administration did not implement an acceptable remedy, I immediately filed a grievance and maintained daily communication with the faculty member until a successful outcome. I ended my term with a 100% success rate with all the grievances I had filed.
Concurrent with my grievance officer appointment, I joined other AAUP executive committee members to provide joint presentations with EMU’s Academic HR to all deans, directors, and department heads about their responsibilities in ensuring that each faculty member’s tenure and promotion process adheres to the AAUP contract. We likewise provided tenure and promotion trainings for personnel committees, new faculty hires, and faculty who sought advanced promotions. We further accepted any invitations from faculty across campus to assist with DID/DED revisions.
Since then and during these past two years, I have continued my commitment to the implementation of the contract and other wins from our last negotiation for three important provisions. First, I served on the University Research and Sabbatical Leave Committee (URSLC) to ensure, along with other committee members, the administration’s contractual obligation to award the proper number of FRFs and summer research/creativity awards. Second, I assisted with writing the administration’s policy language about grade grievances to correct what had been administrative overreach into faculty members’ rights in determining final course grades. Third, I co-presented (via the Faculty Development Center) trainings for all new faculty hires about successful ways to achieve tenure and promotion per contractual and DED requirements.
I now seek your vote for our chapter’s secretary position as part of a credible slate of eight candidates committed to working as team on your behalf. My above experiences have prepared me to maintain the channels of communication to/from the chapter that are associated with this position. I am likewise prepared to represent all faculty in the summer 2019 contract negotiations.
I have been a professor of philosophy and a member of the EMU-AAUP since 1997. I have served the AAUP on Bargaining Council for two contract negotiations (2000 and 2015) and served as Chair of the Workload Subcommittee for the 2000 contract. I served on the EMU-AAUP Elections Committee in 2004. I also served as the Faculty Chair of the Joint Committee on Workload and Equivalencies, a committee established by the 2012 contract to study workloads across the university.
I was the recipient of the 2016 Ronald Collins Distinguished Faculty Award for Service to the University. I have served in leadership roles at every level in the university. At the department level, I served as Chair of the Philosophy Section for 9 years, Chair of the Philosophy Personnel and Finance Committee, Chair of the Philosophy Instruction Committee, and Chair of several search committees. At the college level, I served as Chair of the College of Arts and Sciences College Advisory Council for 4 consecutive years (and one additional year) and the CAC budget subcommittee. At the university level, in addition to chairing the Joint Committee on Workload and Equivalencies, I served on the Faculty Council Executive Board (before it was called the Faculty Senate) and chaired two of its standing committees. Each of these leadership roles allowed me to utilize my strengths to improve conditions for faculty and for our students.
My professional interest in ethics and justice has led me to seek out service roles that offer an opportunity to address issues of fairness and equity within the university. I excel in situations that call for attention to detail, problem-solving, and critical reasoning. The AAUP Executive Board is an ideal location to utilize my strengths to further address issues of equity and to ensure that faculty rights are protected.
I am an Associate Professor (tenured) in the sport management program in the School of Health Promotion and Human Performance. Before joining EMU in 2014, I was a tenured law professor.
My research and scholarship focuses on athletes’ rights, including employment/labor rights. My publications have also addressed the authority of professional league commissioners to discipline players, ethical issues in intercollegiate athletics, athlete agent regulation, college coaches’ contracts, and measuring an athlete’s lost earning capacity damages. I have provided expert testimony before Congress and in numerous lawsuits. I also serve on the editorial board for the Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport.
I earned a J.D. magna cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law and have been a member of the State Bar of Michigan since 1997. Upon graduation from law school, I went to work for Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, a large law firm in Detroit, where I eventually made partner. I practiced corporate law and also represented and counseled athletes in contract and litigation matters.
As an At Large member, I will assist the Committee with my legal training and experience, as well as my knowledge about the collective bargaining process and labor law principles, to obtain the best deal possible for the EMU faculty!
I live in Saline with my wife of 27 years, and our three children and golden retriever.
Entering my 12th year at Eastern Michigan University, I have reflected extensively on my variegated experiences and professional goals as a faculty member alongside the ever-increasing challenges posed to the historic mission of public institutions of higher education. The historic mission of public (higher) education underpinned and continues to guide both my teaching and research interests. Having been raised in a working class family, I respect and value the public university’s responsibilities to develop competent leaders (civic and otherwise), democratize access to knowledge and power, increase life chances and opportunities, and address pressing socio-cultural, political, and economic issues in the interests of nurturing the common good and developing an informed and engaged citizenry. The public university, at risk of becoming only slightly differentiated from endless other consumer goods, has a tremendous amount of work to do to make good on its founding principles—and a robust and engaged faculty union could help the university in this regard.
I eagerly chose EMU over a decade ago, even though I had just begun my tenure clock at a research university in Pennsylvania. While I sought employment at EMU for family reasons (EMU was the only institution in Michigan to which I applied), I was already well aware of the widely respected legacy of the College of Education. EMU’s students convinced me during my teaching sessions in the interview to accept the position if offered. It was clear to me that special students—diverse, engaged, critical, curious, open—attended EMU. I saw younger versions of myself in many of the students, and it seemed, at least with the faculty with whom I interacted, that faculty, perhaps EMU more generally, genuinely valued and appreciated these students as learners and people. This endeared EMU to me. In my time at EMU, I have learned that my assumptions were mostly accurate. Faculty do generally put students first, as they should in a public education setting. However, we increasingly struggle to put students first in practice. We struggle because we have to fight against misguided practices of managerialism at the upper administrative level. We constantly have to struggle against market-based models of lean management of academic programming that have rebounded as not-so-veiled forms of privatization of academic functions—all while bloating the administrative ranks. And, among other things, we struggle against a subtle drift in priorities and practices of re-valuation that seem to be untethering the university from its core mission to serve students and the public good.
I want to participate as an at-large member of the union so that I can play a more direct part in putting students first. Students’ learning settings are faculty’s labor conditions. When the university puts students first, it consequently supports faculty, too. For these reasons and more, a strong and sensible union can perform a strategic role in re-centering the academic and public mission of the university.
I am an associate professor in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences running to serve as a member at-large. I have had a variety of instructional and research experiences that have prepared me to appreciate and represent the diverse challenges faculty experience in promoting EMU’s teaching and research mission.
I appreciate the complexity and range of faculty instructional workloads. At the undergraduate level I have taught writing intensive courses and contributed to the development of the interdisciplinary neuroscience program. I have experience with traditional, laboratory-based, and service-learning/practicum courses and the workload challenges that can be faced in these settings. At the graduate level I teach masters and doctoral students in both traditional and practicum courses. I am graduate coordinator for the MS in Clinical Behavioral Psychology program which requires liaising with state licensure and national accreditation boards as well as coordinating with faculty to make sure the program curriculum is updated to stay current with the demands of these regulating bodies. I believe these experiences have prepared me well to represent the broad range of workload issues faculty face putting their students’ learning first.
I am a highly productive researcher in a highly productive department. I appreciate that student research mentorship is a form of intensive individualized instruction that comes with a high workload. It is important for the AAUP to continue to work with faculty and departments on updating workload policies to reflect the time such intensive individualized instruction takes.
My research expertise includes quality improvement and sustainable practices in healthcare systems. I aim to bring skills from this research area to the AAUP. Specifically, I am interested in developing procedures and resources to institutionalize knowledge, support best practices, and improve our abilities to onboard new stewards, grievance officers, bargaining council members, and elected leadership.
As a graduate student, I was an organizer and department representative for the Temple University Graduate Student Association (TUGSA). We successfully campaigned to unionize graduate student employees and I served on bargaining council for our first contract. I was also elected to serve as the first treasurer for TUGSA and have experience developing and evaluating organizational policies and procedures. TUGSA founding members received a lot of support and training from the AFT and AFL-CIO. I have a full appreciation for the amount of work and organization required for a union to serve its mission.
I am prepared to represent the diverse needs of faculty as a member at-large and will work to strengthen the internal workings of the organization.