Wright State faculty union concerned about furlough talk

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 3:38 PM

            Dozens of members of Wright State University’s faculty union showed up for a board of trustees meeting at the school’s Lake Campus on Friday. The union and administration are locked into an heated, ongoing contract negotiations.
            Max Filby/ STAFF
Dozens of members of Wright State University’s faculty union showed up for a board of trustees meeting at the school’s Lake Campus on Friday. The union and administration are locked into an heated, ongoing contract negotiations.(Max Filby/ STAFF)

Members of Wright State University’s faculty union turned out in droves to a board of trustees meeting Friday even though it took place 75 minutes north of Dayton at the school’s Lake Campus.

The Wright State chapter of the American Association of University Professors has been locked into sometimes tense contract negotiations with the school’s administration over the last year. The tension appeared to escalate this week after the university announced on Wednesday that it would consider employee furloughs if finances don’t improve.

RELATED: Wright State considering employee furloughs if finances don’t improve

“I think they are worried about that… They’re concerned about the management of their university. It hasn’t been just one thing but a package of things over the last few years,” said John McNay, a history professor at the University of Cincinnati and president of the AAUP’s Ohio conference.

McNay said he drove up to Celina to show support for Wright State’s faculty union as did a leader from Bowling Green State University’s faculty union.

Furloughs are not imminent, administrators insist, but rather a backup plan if for some reason Wright Sate is unable to stick to its fiscal year 2018 budget. WSU slashed $30.8 million from its budget in June in an attempt to begin correcting years of overspending.

The school is also trying to boost its reserve fund by $6 million this year but must carve out another $10.5 million from its budget because of low enrollment issues and unexpected scholarship and fellowship costs. WSU officials have said they plan to make up the difference through savings in summer classes and operations, “discretionary spending” and leaving positions vacant.

RELATED: Wright State makes a list that’s good news for area military families

In a brief speech, AAUP-WSU treasurer Tom Rooney reminded board members of their responsibility to make sure Wright State continues its long-term commitment of offering a quality college education despite shorter-term budget problems. He received a standing ovation from the crowd of AAUP-WSU members.

“Boards will come and go but as long as the university continues to have students you’re going to have a faculty that ‘s going to continue fight and ensure that they’re getting the best education possible,” Rooney said.

Contract negotiations originally stalled in March amid the university’s budget issues and the abrupt resignation of former president David Hopkins. AAUP-WSU president Martin Kich said on Wednesday that the drafting of a furlough policy could be a counter-move by the administration after the union created a formal strike procedure in November.

The union’s contract expired in June but it remains in effect until a fact-finder’s report is issued. Fact-finding is scheduled for late January.

RELATED: Wright State faculty union: Cutting jobs not the ‘fix WSU needs’

Doug Fecher, WSU board chairman said in October that the university was seeking some flexibility in negotiations. But, that comment troubled faculty members who feared that “flexibility” meant the school wants to make it easier to lay off faculty and eliminate academic programs.

“I can’t help but think about the word flexibility which is a word I used to described a component of future success. Somehow this word has become a loaded term at Wright State when indeed the board’s intent is for it to mean just what it says,” Fecher said. “So, I’d like to recommend a compromise (that) we begin using the word nimble in our conversation as a way of describing the university’s capabilities to adjust when conditions change.”

Continuing coverage

Turn to the Dayton Daily News for the most in-depth and up-to-date coverage of Wright State University’s budget problems —work made possible by your subscription.

By the numbers

$30.8 million: Amount Wright State slashed its budget by in June.

$6 million: Amount Wright State aims to boost reserves by this year.

584: Number of faculty members represented by WSU-AAUP.

824: Number of full-time faculty members at Wright State.

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Veteran service dog missing after running off in Kettering crash 

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 11:19 PM

Photo Credit: Vicky Campbell
Photo Credit: Vicky Campbell

A service dog is missing after he ran off when the vehicle his owner was driving became involved in a crash in Kettering Friday morning.

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Officials say Zeus the dog, and his owner, a Special Forces Veteran, were involved in a two-vehicle crash that ended with their vehicle into a pole at the intersection of E. Dorothy Lane and Shroyer Road.

Photo Credit: Vicky Campbell

Zeus ran from the crash that occurred just after 11 a.m. and has not been seen since.

His owner reportedly suffered a broken jaw as a result of the crash and allegedly will not seek medical treatment until his dog is found, community members said.

Signs about Zeus being missing, as well as articles of clothing have been placed all around the Oakwood, Far Hills, and Oak Knoll areas where he was last seen.

Community members looking for the missing dog urge others to not chase Zeus if you locate him, but rather call the local police department. 

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Two dogs die in ‘total loss’ barn fire in Clark County

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 10:04 PM

Two dogs die in barn fire

Two dogs died after a large barn fire occurred in the 2200 block of E. County Line Road Sunday evening, according to officials.

>> Suspect in 2 Speedway robberies dies in Clark County Jail 

Crews were dispatched to the scene around 8:15 p.m. with reports that black smoke was showing and animals were inside, per initial reports.

CRED: Robert Kennedy

The fire’s start remains under investigation and although damage estimates could not be confirmed at this time, the barn is a ‘total loss’, according to Moorefield Twp. fire personnel.

Only the animals were inside of the barn at the time of the fire.

Credit: Robert Kennedy

German Twp. and Pleasant Twp. fire departments assisted Moorefield Twp. fire crews. 

There was a police standoff in Champaign Co. near the area where the barn fire occurred, however, the two incidents are not related. 

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Waffle House 'hero' disarmed shooter, tossed rifle over counter

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 10:59 AM
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 4:25 PM

Waffle House Shooting: ‘Hero’ Disarmed Shooter and Tossed Rifle Over Counter

Some fast thinking by a Waffle House patron in Antioch, Tennessee, saved numerous lives after a man opened fire at the restaurant, The Tennessean reported.

>> Read more trending news

Police said the suspected shooter, believed to be Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton, Illinois, opened fire at about 3:25 a.m. at the Waffle House.

James Shaw Jr., 29, was sitting in the Waffle House with a friend when the gunman opened fire, The Tennessean reported. He said he saw a chance to tackle the shooter and does not feel like a hero.

“I don’t really know, when everyone said that, it feels selfish,” Shaw said. “I was just trying to get myself out. I saw the opportunity and pretty much took it.”

“If I didn't put my life at risk, then I'm probably not here," Shaw said later Sunday at a news conference.

Police spokesman Don Aaron said the shooter was rushed by the restaurant patron, disarmed him and threw the assault rifle over a counter, the Tennessean reported.

“When he heard the gunshots (Shaw) ran back to restroom area,” Aaron said. “He watched the gunman.

>> Waffle House shooting: 4 dead after nude gunman opens fire

“He reported that he saw the gunman looking at his rifle. At that point, the shots had stopped,” Aaron said. “So he decided to rush the gunman, actually wrestled that assault rifle away (and) tossed it over the counter.”

“I figured if I was gonna die, he was gonna have to work for it,” Shaw said.

The suspect fled on foot and was nude after removing his coat, police said.

Shaw said a bullet grazed him, so he jumped toward the bathroom.

"I remember I was like ‘Dang, I’m basically in a barrel,’ ” Shaw Jr. told the Tennessean. “There is no place for me to go.”

Shaw said what happened Sunday morning has yet to sink in.

“I don’t know if it has hit me yet as far as witnessing other people dying,” Shaw Jr. said. “Its kind of, it shouldn’t have happened. When I was in (the) ambulance to (the) hospital I kept thinking that ‘I’m going to wake up and it’s not going to be real.’ It is something out of a movie.

“I’m OK, though, but I hate that it happened.”

Shaw said he did not have any special training.

“I don’t have any special combat training, although I do fight to put my 4-year-old daughter to bed every night,” he deadpanned.

Chuck Cordero, a Waffle House employee who was off-duty at the time but pulled up to the restaurant while the shooting was in progress, said the patron “really saved some people.”

"Had that guy had a chance to reload his weapon, there was plenty more people in that restaurant," Cordero told the Tennessean.

A man, believed to be Reinking, was last seen in woods near the Waffle House, police said. He was wearing black pants and no shirt.

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Lyrid meteor shower 2018: 8 stunning photos of the celestial display

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 8:25 AM

The milky way and traces of meteors illuminate the sky over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn, northern Germany, Friday, April 20, 2018, during the Lyrid meteor shower. (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP)
Daniel Reinhardt/AP
The milky way and traces of meteors illuminate the sky over Burg on the Baltic Sea island of Fehmarn, northern Germany, Friday, April 20, 2018, during the Lyrid meteor shower. (Daniel Reinhardt/dpa via AP)(Daniel Reinhardt/AP)

This year's Lyrid meteor shower reached its peak this weekend, and photographers flocked to social media to share some stunning snapshots of the celestial display.

See the images below:

>> MORE: Lyrid meteor shower 2018: When, where and how to watch | More trending news 

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