SOU & faculty tight-lipped about tentative contract agreement

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Fri, February 28 2014 at 6:12 PM, Updated: Mon, March 3 2014 at 2:19 PM

SOU & faculty tight-lipped about tentative contract agreement

Ashland, Ore. -- Medford teachers have not decided when they'll take a formal vote on their contract and now there are questions Friday night in Ashland about whether faculty at Southern Oregon University will accept their own tentative agreement.

SOU has been negotiating a contract with their teacher's union for roughly eight months. Several faculty members tell NBC 5 they're unhappy with those negotiations.

The contract negotiations are occurring as the administration considers dropping programs to save money in what they call a retrenchment. However, the vote on the contract may pale in comparison to another vote.

Faculty members tell NBC 5 they will be taking a vote of confidence or "no confidence" in SOU's President Dr. Mary Cullinan, Provost James Klein and Vice President of Finance and Administration Craig Morris.

According to faculty members, if two-thirds of the 213 faculty members vote in favor of "no confidence" for Dr. Cullinan, a letter requesting her removal would be sent to the Oregon University System Chancellor's Office. If two-thirds of the faculty vote in favor of "no confidence" for Klein and Morris, a letter would be sent to Dr. Cullinan requesting their removal.

Voting among faculty started on Monday and will end next Monday, March 3rd.

The results are expected to be presented at the next Faculty Senate meeting.

Various SOU faculty members have told NBC 5 they've been uneasy to speak on camera because they say they're worried about how it might affect their future at the university.

NBC 5 also put in a call to SOU President Dr. Mary Cullinan's office. We received a call back from staff saying she couldn't comment on the "no confidence" vote since she did not yet know the outcome. We were instead, referred to faculty members.

At this point, both sides remain tight-lipped and details are scarce.

Stay with NBC 5 and KOBI5.com as we gather more information on this developing story.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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