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¦WWW«MI mmmmmmmm SPEC COLL LD Si\% .A3 P3H7 UNIVERSITY CENTER MOVIN' ON UP... - FEATURES, PAGE 4 Pdi^ARO September 10,1996 Volume 19, Number 16 m ^% [W.MM7C ^ rM:m' -yyl University contests verdict in discrimination lawsuit By Jennifer Caliendo Acting News Editor After a year and a half of waiting. Dr. Betty Travis, associate professor in tta division of mattamatics, com¬ puter science, and statistics won tar Dr. Betty Travis discrimination lawsuit against UTSA and the Board of Regents of the UT system. However, Travis has yet to receive the compensation that was awarded to her in a May 24, 1996, court decision. The judgement rendered hy United Stales District Court Magis¬ trate Judge Alan Albright awarded Travis the promotion to full professor, more than $I2.()0() in back pay with interest, as well as an undeiennined amount of attorney's fees. However, Travis said the university has currently not recognized Judge Alan Albright's decision. Currently, Travis has not been promoted to full professor or re¬ ceived the monetary compensation that she was awarded. The university has not officially appealed the court deci¬ sion, but Travis plans to file contempt ofcourt charges ifthe . university does not comply with the ver¬ dict rendered by the district court. Bob Burdick, associate vice president of uni¬ versity communica¬ tions released a state¬ ment stating, "The case of Betty Travis vs. the University of Texas System Board "^"'¦~ of Regents is in the very early stages of the appellate pro¬ cess. Attorneys for the state of Texas are seeking a stay of the judgement until the conclusion of this process." Tlic statement continues to state that the attorneys for Ihe state of Texas requested that Travis not attempt to seek relief through the university. The decision handed down by Albright stated ."That Defendant Uni¬ versity ofTexas at San Antonio com¬ mitted an unlawful employment prac¬ tice by discriminating against Plaintiff Betty Travis on the basis of her gender in denying her promotion to full pro¬ fessor during the 1993-94 promotion cycle." Albright's verdict furtherstated that Travis should be promo'^d lo full professor by Sept. 1, 1996, and ordered Ihe university to pay Travis back pay and attorney's fees. Travis filed the discrimination suit The case of Betty Travis vs. the University of Texas System Board of Regents is in the very early stages of the appellate process. Attorneys for the state of Texas are seeking a stay of judgement until the conclusion of this process. -Statement from the University in 1994 afler she was denied promo- lion to full professor in 1994. Travis claimed that she was not promoted to full professor because she is a woman. Since she was never given a concrete reason as lo why she was passed over for Ihe promotion, she filed a lawsuit against the UTSA syslem, Ihe Board of Regents, President Sam Kirkpatrick and Provost Ray Garza. Throughout the lawsuit, the University claimed it had not disciminated or retaliated against Travis. After the district court jury awarded Travis II of Ihe 12 charges presented to ihem, the Uni ver¬ sity staled in a June 5 San Antonio Express News article that "This case is about standards, [jjuries make mis¬ takes." The universiiy attempted to appeal the verdict bul on Jul.y 16 Albright approved the jury's verdict and ordered the universiiy to recog- ^^^^^^^^ nize Ihe deci- sion. Travis had also filed indi¬ vidual lawsuits against Samuel Kirkpatrick, president of UTSA, and Ray Garza, provost and vice presi¬ dent fpr aca- , dem ic affairs. A week before Ihe trial began, Travis dropped Ihe indi¬ vidual lawsuits She said that she dropped the individual lawsuits "in the spirit of collegiality and what I consid¬ ered to be the best inierest of the uni¬ versity." As a result of Ihe lawsuits. Travis voluntarily gave up all rights lo collecl any punitive damages from the decision. "All I wanted was my pro¬ motion and the rights and benefits from Ihe promotion, as well as lo bc free from any retaliation." she said. While Travis was awaiting a court Gary Wright/The Pai.sano Though construction still continues on the University Center the official dedication will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 10. See page 4 for the full schedule. date for her discrimination suit thc university removed her from her posi¬ tion as assistani division direcior of the division of malhcmalies, computer sci¬ ence, and statistics and cul oil a salary supplement she had acquired through a grant. During the lawsuit. Travis gained the suppori of the Texas Fac¬ ulty Associalion(TFA). the American Association ol Universiiy Professors Continued on page 3 Graduate students turn to unions for help IIm <ueli ClBfy Wiij^it/ThePidtano BusbiMs BuUding tMiH hoiMO advanced tedmoloi^ eommiunilcatlon Mid computer »ct—n pNHactors NewBusiness building offers many amenities ByOtrtosOurand CtrntribuHng Writer Tbenew Business building, located adjaoMt to the Jotoi Peace Libraiy, mil (^ficMly begin operating in the ^prii^t997seinesta-. However.some area* of die building may be available for use before the end of the fall. Tbe prcjeet has been ongding since 1991 and is Ae result of faculty, suff and outside consultant effofU. "The new business building is going to be oae of the best school buildings in Araoica-if not the best one- for suit oae of Ihe best in die country," said Jamea P. Oaetner, dean of the coUege ofbusiaess. . ThenewbwkUngisuniquebecause it wiH featitfe speciid leaming areas new lo UTSA. Uiese areas include tivo cdMiputa- classrooms with 30 sta- dans in each clasuoom. T ystem will aDow the instructor to access any indent computer screen at any time finom die maincmnputer and also to riiow tayoM wnk in the projecdcm scnen at die front of die class. An liMracdonal dealer" will offer worid¬ wide satellite conununication. *%icrMses in Ae quality erf' instruc- ti^ mu^ be isfl^^ted in the newegjuip- ment,"saidCaetner. He added thatihe facilities will help teachns by using "integrated teachiag stations" in the classrooms. In addiiion to tbe comput¬ ers, the classrooms will include asqudi podium for lecturing, document cam¬ era projectors and compiler screen pro- jectcn^ ^ecially uied for Power-pojnt presentadoos. Hie new building is not oidy unique in its techndogy, but also in iu design. Specially designed «re»i& for studmts include a leisure patio, afiilly equipped food court facility, a s|Mcious working area for student ckiba, a comfiHttAile "study alcove" created as a collective living room for study breaks and a waiting area for students wbo have scheduled appointment with prndhsr SOTS. Gaeuto^ staled fhim the staR the new building is being constructed with the stwdants in mind. "The budding has a weteoming type of atraoqriiere for dw students; dte design fulflfls Ifie needs of a comfortably human ele¬ ment, needed for a full teaming expe' rience." The former Humanities-Business will be designated for use ^ odwr coiteges on c^pta. By SunnI DoNicola College Press Service Graduale teaching assistants at uni¬ versities nationwide are joining unions to take on an education system that they say relies upon them more and more bul often turns a deaf ear to their concerns. Frustrated, some students are look¬ ing to unions for help in negotiating labor issues such as improved wages, benefils and work environments. Roughly a dozen universities' grad siudents have union affiliations, half of which were fonned since 1990. In many cases, unions step in lo fill the void. Lasl year, after years of de¬ bate, graduates at the Universiiy of Iowa teamed up with the Uniied Elec¬ trical Workers Union, while Univer¬ sity of Kansas grad students also formed a labor union. In Califomia the United Aulo Workers continue to hammer administrations al six universities to win TAs collective bargaining power. At the University of Michigan, teach¬ ing assistants also threatened to strike over labor issues. Yet many uni versities, such as Yale, continue lo resist the unionization of their grad studenis. They argue TAs are not really employees and thus are not entitled to benefits as such. Instead they are students, and their leaching is a pan of their educational experience. But TAs say that instead of the class¬ room being a training ground for fu¬ ture employmeni, they are being used as a form of highly skilled, bul very cheap labor. Even if leaching is strictly part of their academic training, TAs say Ihey want more say in how that experience is handled. Many complain that they are thrown at the last minute into over¬ crowded classes with little or no prepa¬ ration, ultimately undermining both the graduate anJ undergraduate educa¬ tion. "The graduate student experience can be extremely isolating; unions can bring a powerful sense of communiiy and community empowerment," says Tamara Joseph, a staff organizer for the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at thc University of Michigan (UM). "Many feel excluded from deci¬ sion-making procedures that impact Ihe quality of their lives. Unionization begins to allow them lo exercise some control." Studenis often are prohibited, ei¬ ther by the terms of their fellowships or by lime constraints, to lake on other part-time jobs to make ends meet. At Yale, studenis receive tuition waivers and wages ofless than $ 10,000 a year—$2,000 less lhan Ihe estimated cost of living, according to Stevens. "It is based on old and outdated a.ssump- tions that studenis at Yale have other sources of income, but some have fanii- their own leaching unions," he says. Such isthe ca.se at her own college, the University of Michigan, where GEO organized with the American Fed¬ eration ofTeachers in 1975 and now boasts a 75 perceni membership. GEO has successfully gained full tuition waivers, the same health care options as faculty paid dental are aftcrone year of employment and a grievance proce¬ dure. A strike arose last spring when sal¬ ary negotiations broke down. Ulti¬ mately, grad studenis and administra¬ tors reached a compromise, and the union also walked away with many lies and children. We're not all from rich families." Joseph says Ihe reality is that "the graduatestudent isan independenl adult who may have no other income, may have families to support. At Ihe same lime, Ihere is increased pressure on graduate students to provide more ser¬ vices." On the other side of the issue are some administrators and faculty who hold that therc is noplace for collective bargaining in a collegial atmosphere. "I think they fear that unionization is an industrial model and not appro¬ priale for colleges, as it will damage the uniquecollegial relationship," says Joseph. But since the faculty/student rela¬ tionship is already a complex one, Jo¬ seph says he feels a teaching contract can "clarify things and allow the union to intervene in situations that might otherwise become personal." Many faculty support the siudents in Ihis fight, says Joseph. "Professors often help Ihem make contracts through procedural concessions, including a first-ever writien hiring policy and a committee to address international graduate .student concems. Yale Universiiy grad students con¬ tinue to battle administrators in their fight lo unionize. When Yale's yet- unrecognized TA union. GESO, staged marches and ihrealened a grade strike lasl winter, it made headlines nation¬ wide. Nearly 200 TAs withheld fall grades in an effort lo gel Yale lo ac¬ knowledge GESO as a bargaining agent. But the adminislration coun¬ tered wilh a threat of its own-—an¬ nouncing it would not allow TAs who withheld grades to leach during Ihe spring semester. By mid-January, grades were in. "The Yale situation was bad," says Joseph. I know of at least six students who turned down fellowships to Yale because they do not want to be treated the way Yale treats their students. Yale now has something of a reputation because it certainly was talked about by hundreds of thousands ofstudents." Gelling a university iidminisiration to recognize graduate siudents is only half of the equation, though, say stu¬ dents. Not all grad siudents favor unions. Last April, the University of Iowa voted 949 lo 667 to align with the United Electrical Workers L'nion (UE). Bul the debate left sUalonis split inlo iwofaclions- the Campaign 111 Orga¬ nize Graduate Students (or COGS) and Students Against COGS (or SAC). Even though the latter group was de¬ feated. UI graduate student Sheldon Oppcnheim says SAC is "still here to give COGS a headache" bv Wiitcbdog- ging COGS-UE to ensure men inter¬ ests are represented by the union. When a graduate sludeni organiza¬ tion votes to atflliale vvith a union, individual membership is slill optional. However, nonmcmbers niusi pay a rep¬ resentation fee. This fee is the same as union dues, which al UM is $50 per semester. In addition, if students can prove they are employees, they often fall under the .same legislation which pro¬ tects and regulates state employees. Yale's experience was unique in that it is a private uni\ersily and ihus noi governed by the same state laws. Graduate students unions are noi new. During thc period of sludeni ac¬ tivism in the early 1970s, several uni¬ versities, such as the universities of Oregon, Michigan. Wisconsin and Florida, started unions which still are going sirong. Joseph says Ihe move for new un ions has accelerated at the same time uni¬ versities are downsize—cutting hiring of full-time faculty and escalating their reliance on teaching assistants, part- time faculty and adjunct teachers. Oppcnheim, however, says he be¬ lieves unions are not thc final answer. He says private institutions and stale legislators will "wake up once they've felt the sting and .see they can't run the universities on professors alone, that they need grad sludcnls." No matter what the outcome, many grad siudents say-Ihey are leaming more about the w(>rkplace lhan they have ever dreamed they could from inside the walls of academia.
|Subject||University of Texas at San Antonio--Periodicals.|
|Description||A digital archive of The Paisano, a student operated newspaper at the University of Texas at San Antonio.|
|Publisher||The Paisano Educational Trust|
|Collection||UTSA Student Publications Collection|
|Coverage||United States; Texas; San Antonio;|
|Rights||The Paisano Educational Trust|
Publishing, Press, Printing