- Click here to visit the portal for the election.
- Enter your Rocket Number in both the “Voter ID” and “Voter Key” fields. Click the green “Login to Vote” button.
- Select the candidates you wish to vote for. When you are finished, click the green “Submit Ballot” button at the bottom.
- You will be asked to confirm your desire to submit your ballot. Click “Yes” if you wish to.
- You should see a page thanking you for submitting your vote. If you desire, you may click the green “Download Receipt” button to be given an image you can save confirming that your ballot has been submitted.
Candidates and Position Statements
Tim Brakel, College of Arts & Letters
The primary functions of a union are to represent its membership through the collective bargaining and grievance processes and to advocate in the best interests of its membership. I have served as the Vice-President of the UTAAUP for the past 2 years and also represented our union at the Ohio Conference AAUP during this time. The Ohio Conference has been pushing back on proposed legislation such as HB 327 Divisive Concepts that impacts faculty. While these bills are of concern for our local union, we must also be cognizant that the upcoming contract negotiation will be very challenging. I have experience in contract negotiations having served in the negotiation process as a public-school teacher, school board member and a UTAAUP board member. Protecting our jobs and benefits will need to be a priority in the next contract negotiation. I am committed to making our union stronger as evidenced by the increase of membership meetings, and website updates over the past year. I am prepared to bring my leadership experience to continue to move the union forward during this elected term.
Renee Heberle, College of Arts & Letters
I have been a faculty member and a member of the UT-AAUP at UToledo since fall of 1997. I came from UMass Amherst where I was deeply involved in the successful organization of a Graduate Employee Union affiliated with the UAW. I have never wanted to be anything but a faculty member and am intensely grateful to be at UT where the CBA is strong and protective of faculty rights and benefits.
As one among equals on the executive committee and the membership (the title of President requires the fulfillment of Constitutional obligations, but the title is less important to me than my ability to contribute) I would put on the table for discussion:
- Hiring a part-time staff person
- Improving election processes
- Creating more pathways of communication among union members and leadership
As you can see my priority is building out our capacity for organizing and communicating in addition to negotiating a great contract.
Please vote. If you choose to vote for me, thank you. If not, thank you for participating!
Don Wedding, College of Business
I am one of the original founders of the UT-AAUP union and have been the UT-AAUP Grievance Officer since 1996. I ama member of the Ohio Bar and Pennsylvania Bar and admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. I have represented faculty in over 1500 grievances without compensation or course release. I will continue to do so. I believe the #1 responsibility of our Union is to represent faculty and protect their rights especially Academic Freedom, First Amendment, and Due Process. The UT-AAUP representation includes weekly administrative hearings in a multiplicity of disciplinary charges including Title IX, research misconduct, IRB, and Code of Conduct. We also represent faculty in FMLA and sick leave cases. We have regularly assisted the estates of deceased faculty.
The CBA negotiations will start in March and will be challenging. The UT-AAUP Executive Board and Officers believe that the following are some of the key issues in the forthcoming negotiations:
- Protecting faculty jobs by maintaining the Financial Emergency Principles & Procedures of Article 19 (T/TT CBA) and Article 27 (Lecturer CBA).
- Maintain our excellent health benefits and also include partner benefits.
- Maintain tuition waiver
- Maintain summer teaching
- Pay increases
- New budget models
I will appreciate your support for my candidacy.
Cyrus Hagigat, College of Engineering
I have been the vice chair of the grievance committee for the past 2 years reporting to Dr. Wedding and assisting him as asked for by Dr. Wedding. I have also been the AAUP University of Toledo Chapter secretary for the past 2 years. I have been the AAUP representative for Engineering Technology and Bioengineering departments for the past 2 years. I have been closely working with Dr. Wedding for the past 2 years and I am familiar with his approach. I believe the upcoming negotiations will be difficult because of the financial issues at the University of Toledo. It is critical that experienced negotiators conduct these negotiations. Dr. Wedding has already demonstrated his abilities by shielding the faculty of University of Toledo during Covid crisis. Examples of faculty unions that have not been able to perform at the same level as University of Toledo AAUP union are University of Akron and Youngstown State University.
Kim Nigem, College of Business & Innovation
I am running for re-election to the UT-AAUP Executive Board. I have served as the UT-AAUP Treasurer and during that time have built a strong financial base for the Union. Our Union’s financial position is critically important to our ability to support, defend, and protect faculty and faculty rights. Even in the face of increasing dues rates to national and state AAUP, our Union has not and does not intend to modify our dues percentage set in 1990. Maintaining our solid financial position will continue to be a top priority for me. In addition, I am involved with our annual audit, maintenance of membership rolls, legal research, faculty grievances, and writing newsletters.
Executive Officer for Lecturer Affairs
Elliott Adams, College of Arts & Letters
Note: candidate submitted statement after election began.
I have been a Lecturer in the English Department at UT since 2008, and consequently, a beneficiary of all prior collective bargaining agreements; learning that faculty were covered by a CBA was one factor that made me proud to become a faculty member of UT. While I have not served on the UT-AAUP in any other capacity, I do have several years of executive board experience from other, non-campus organizations, which I will bring to the position of Executive Officer for Lecturer Affairs. In that role, I will advocate heavily for continued and improved protections for Lecturers in the upcoming contract negotiations, as well as shouldering the other duties required. I believe that the charge of any Executive Board is to serve the people it represents through honest, thoughtful communication among the Board, its constituents, and other involved entities. I would be honored to receive your vote; thank you.
Michael Kistner, College of Arts & Letters
Experience at the negotiation table and forming strategies with other Executive Board members to save Lecturer positions is essential going into the next two years. I have served our unit by negotiating our last four contracts; serving on the UT-AAUP Executive Board since 2001; serving on both Faculty Senate and Arts and Letters Council; keeping members informed about multiple concerns via a Lecturer database; and chairing the UT-AAUP Sick Leave Bank. Please support my candidacy with your vote.
At-Large Board Member Candidates
Peter Andreana, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
I am running for re-election to the UT-AAUP Executive Board. I have been at UT since the Fall of 2012 making it beyond 9 years that I’ve been here. I am in the Department of Chemistry and have had close to $3million in funded research grants. I have served on numerous institutional committees, including as a member of Faculty Senate for one year, COGS for 3 years, CNSM committee for 3 years including one as secretary and 4 years on IUCAC/DLAR committee (ongoing service to the institute). Importantly, I have served for 3 years on UT-AAUP Executive Board and would like to continue doing so as I find this position very rewarding. It is always nice to know we are helping our colleagues and our community at large.
In regards to continuous service on the UT-AAUP Board, I know that this upcoming year is a crucial one for all UT faculty as contract negotiations will ensue. I am confident that I can make a positive impact both in the immediate and long-term future. I appreciate your support in voting for me to represent you on the Board.
Henry M. Streby, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Strong unions do not develop by chance; they are born of necessity and they gain strength because they are forced to. In conversations with faculty outside of UT, it is clear that we are envied for the strength of our representation by the UT-AAUP. A strong union can go unnoticed and can be taken for granted when it works efficiently and effectively. Our salaries, healthcare, retirement, workloads, tenure, and other contractual guarantees are all meaningfully and positively influenced by tireless, and often quiet, work by UT-AAUP representatives. In my five years at UT, I have witnessed the Union defending faculty against unjust attacks on their rights to free speech, academic freedom, due process, and in many cases attacks on their contractually guaranteed rights to simply do their jobs. Today’s academic climate at local, regional, and national levels provides daily reminders that strong union representation cannot be taken for granted. I am running to represent the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics on the UT-AAUP Executive Board to serve in what capacity I can to help our world-class faculty gain the reputation they deserve through fighting for a safe, just, and productive academic climate.
Kimberly R. McBride, College of Arts & Letters
I value honesty, integrity, transparency, and accountability. I am a firm supporter of equity and inclusion. I believe in amplifying collective voices and view that as a primary role I would play if elected. I chose to run for the position of College and Arts representative because I believe that we are facing critical challenges both internally and externally that threaten the foundations upon which education is based, including academic freedom and faculty shared governance.
Collin Gilstrap, College of Business and Innovation
I would like to represent the College of Business and Innovation on the AAUP Executive Board for the January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023 term. Over this term, the University of Toledo is embarking on a significant budget redesign and contract negotiation, and I would like to offer my financial expertise to the AAUP during both of these significant events.
The responsibility centered budget model is projecting significant losses across the majority of colleges due to administrative overhead. A common suggestion to close the gap in the new budget model appears to involve asking faculty to take on larger classes and utilize more part time instructors. In my view this is to circumvent overload and summer compensation for CBA members, in order to cover administrative overhead. I hope to provide financial literacy when asked for input on the new budget model parameters and the new bargaining agreement.
In addition to these university level concerns, there is a pressing matter to tend inside of our college. The tenure and promotion process in the college has been mired in uncertainty over the past two years. As tenure and promotion is a shared governance matter, I intend to work with College rules and election to clarify and ensure due process is followed from both sides of the T&P process.
Devinder Kaur, College of Engineering
I have been a faculty member at the University of Toledo since 1989. I have served on the Executive Board since 2019. Before that, I served as Departmental Representative for ten years. During this time, I served as liaison and brought forth the grievances and concerns of the faculty to the attention of AAUP. In view of the upcoming contract negotiation, the challenges before us, I believe that my long association with AAUP will be valuable.
Randy Vesely, College of Education
Given the ever-increasing number of UT administrators, shrinking numbers of tenure track faculty, and ongoing budget shortfalls, it is clear just how important union representation will be in the months and years to come to ensure economic security and quality working conditions for our membership. To that end, I wish to serve as an UT-AAUP Executive Board member.
I am an Associate Professor of Educational Administration and Supervision in the College of Education at the University of Toledo, in Ohio. In addition, I am a Distinguished Fellow of Research and Practice. I am responsible for all duties associated with program coordination for the Masters and Education Doctorate degrees, as well as Licensure Certificate. At the college level, I served as Chairperson of the College Council and the Academic Affairs Committee. At the university level, I served as a member of the University Assessment System Committee, and chaired the Campus Traffic Violation Appeals Committee for Purdue. At the national level, I am a member of the Advisory Board for the National Education Finance Academy among others.
Mick Dier, College of Health and Human Services
I am running for re-election to the UT-AAUP Executive Board. I am in the School of Social Justice. I am the past President of the UT Police Patrolmen’s Union. During my tenure on the Board, I have assisted Don Wedding with grievances and representation of faculty in HHS. The 2021 contract negotiations will be very important for faculty. We need to stand firmly as a Union to project faculty rights, our employment, and our benefits.
Mary Templin, Honors College
I am a Senior Lecturer in the Jesup Scott Honors College and have represented the JSHC on the AAUP Executive Board for about 10 years. I have a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and have been at UToledo since 2002. I served as the Chair of the JSHC Faculty Council from 2016-2021. I believe that the primary role of the AAUP is to serve its members, whether that be negotiating the best possible contract, representing their interests in grievances, or serving as a source of information regarding policies that affect faculty. In addition, I think the AAUP has a larger role to play on campus as an advocate for student interests and a supportive voice on behalf of our sister unions.
John Barrett, College of Law
John is the lead negotiator for the College of Law in its first contract negotiations. He will be important to us when we open our contract negotiations in March. John was Faculty Senate President and Interim Provost under President Gaber. He is an invaluable member of the Executive Board.
Christine Rigda, University Libraries
My appointment at the University began in 2006, and I have been serving as an AAUP Board member since 2018. I would like to continue serving you. Having a union to represent our interests is important. The AAUP fought for me when I needed its support, and I have seen it fight equally hard for all its members to ensure the contract is followed and all faculty are treated equitably. We are approaching an important year of contract negotiations, and I want to make sure we get the best contract possible. I have chaired various committees in the library including the DPC and CPC as well as the national library organization, the Innovative Users Group, so I have experience reading and understanding contract language and working successfully with diverse groups of people. Thank you for considering my candidacy for the Executive Board.
Susan L. Pocotte, College of Nursing
I am full professor in the College of Nursing (CON). I teach graduate pharmacology and pathophysiology and advise graduate student scholarship. I earned my PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and performed/published research in the biomedical sciences at the National Institutes of Health and Department of Navy.
I am committed to supporting the upcoming Lecturer and Tenure/TT CBA negotiations that I believe are key to the protection of faculty positions, compensation, benefits, academic freedom, shared governance, tenure, promotion and evaluation.
As representative of the CON I would collaborate with the CON department UTAAUP representatives and faculty in communication with the Board and to monitor the CBA and upcoming negotiations.
I have served 2 terms as the CON Representative to the UTAAUP Board. My history of service to the CON and University illustrates my passion for shared governance, teaching, scholarship and student diversity, equity and inclusion. I have chaired numerous committees and task forces. I am the current Biomedical IRB chair and a Faculty Senate representative to University Research Council. I was the UToledo PI on an NSF funded grant Collaborative Research: AGEP-T: Northern Ohio AGEP Alliance (NOA-AGEP) A Racially and Ethnically Inclusive Graduate Education Model in Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering.