The Word - 2013/07/09


- CSEA Updates
- STRS Updates
- CSEA Ongoing Activities
- CSEA Advocacy and Support
- Faculty Updates
- Faculty Spotlight
- Featured Article
- Know Your Contract
- CSEA Representatives

CSEA Updates

1) After discussing the issue for two years - and after considerable pressure from CSEA - the administration has committed to providing embedded advisors for the Career and Technical Division and some Arts and Sciences Departments by spring semester if at all possible, if not, by summer semester.

2) CSEA has two ongoing grievances. The first involves a faculty member who received a 5% salary reduction for using too much bandwidth.

CSEA was forced to submit the grievance to arbitration after the Administration refused to participate in grievance mediation. Note: mediation is an optional step in the process that involves a third-party neutral and is geared towards problem-solving. Less than a week before the scheduled arbitration hearing date - and only after the College’s attorney became involved - the Administration suggested settlement. An agreement resolving the grievance was reached on July 10.

During the course of settlement talks, CSEA learned that the Administration had identified, and remedied, flaws in its network systems. Therefore, the settlement reached prevents faculty from being disciplined for bandwidth usage below the systemic limits. The settlement also reduced the faculty member’s discipline down to a 4-day suspension and requires the Information Security Committee to meet within 90 days. It is important to note that the Information Security Committee has not met in years, despite a requirement in Procedure 15.01 (M) that it meet every semester. CSEA is hopeful that this committee will discuss bandwidth and network usage issues and recommend methods for faculty to monitor their usage.

Update: since the signing of the settlement, the Administration has informed CSEA that they failed to reduce the faculty member’s salary by 5%. No monies were withheld, as laid out in their Notice of Corrective Action Determination dated February 1, 2013.

Moreover, despite signing the settlement agreement over a month ago, the Administration has not yet convened the Information Security Committee.

The second grievance involves elimination of the Dental Laboratory Technology Program. In its Step 2 grievance response, Human Resources acknowledged a technical violation of Article 18 of the Contract, yet did not award CSEA its remedy: to restore the Dental Labs program. One faculty member in the program took advantage of the Voluntary Cash Separation Incentive and retired at the end of summer semester. The other faculty member applied for another position at the College. CSEA’s contract provides preference to displaced faculty members who apply for posted vacancies on campus for which they are qualified. It took almost three months – and CSEA threatening another grievance – for the Administration to acknowledge their responsibility to hire him. CSEA would like to thank Deb Heater, the Vice President of Human Resources, for her efforts. It was her willingness to work together that avoided another grievance and ultimately provided this faculty member with what he was due. The faculty member began his new position on August 15. CSEA hopes to withdraw this grievance, as soon as it receives official word that he has successfully transitioned into the position.

3) Over a year ago, the Academic Calendar committee recommended that two additional teaching days be added to autumn semester. Since this recommendation, CSEA had been waiting for the Administration to decide if they wanted to pursue this change. In order to do so, the Administration was required to meet with CSEA to bargain compensation for the additional teaching days. On April 30, the Administration issued their notice of a desire to enter into In-Term Bargaining per Article 44. At the end of May, CSEA sent prospective bargaining dates for June and followed up with dates in July. The Administration didn’t bother to respond. CSEA has since learned that after initially giving permission to enter into In-Term Bargaining, the President changed his mind.

The bargaining session was finally held on July 19, and it was productive. We employed a problem solving approach that allowed the parties to candidly discuss the issues. Working together, we found a solution that addressed the concerns of both sides. It was a fair and reasonable compromise. CSEA appreciated the efforts of Dr. Cooley and Deb Heater in this process. However, despite the presence of the Vice President of Human Resources and the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, the Administrative team had to seek approval from the President before executing a Tentative Agreement. At this time, we are still awaiting Dr. Harrison’s approval of the language. This is highly unusual and could be considered bargaining in bad faith.

Note: The administration notified CSEA that they were able to execute the Tentative Agreement this week.

Update: Much to the surprise of CSEA, Deb Heater is no longer handling the labor relations aspect of the Vice President of Human Resources job. She was hired after a long search process that involved input from the entire campus community, including CSEA. These duties have been re-assigned to Chief of Staff, Kim Hall. This assignment is not an interim one. Deb Heater dealt with CSEA fairly, openly and honestly. This change was made with no input from, or prior knowledge of, CSEA. While we didn’t always agree, we were able to discuss our disagreements in a professional manner. In making this decision, the President has signaled that the Administration wishes to conduct the upcoming contract negotiations in an atmosphere of mistrust and confrontation. As CSEA works to build trust with Kim Hall, we hope she will continue the cooperative practices established by Deb Heater. Given Ms. Hall's past cavalier attitude toward employee rights, we are, unfortunately, not optimistic.

State Teacher’s Retirement System (STRS) Updates

Changes effective July 1, 2013… As likely noticed in your recent pay stubs, the employee contribution rate to STRS increased by 1% effective July 1, 2013 from 10% of gross pay to 11% of gross pay. Additional 1% annual increases will continue through July 1, 2016, at which time the employee contribution rate will be 14%. In addition, members who retire after August 1, 2013 will now have to wait until the fifth anniversary of their retirement to begin collecting a 2% annual cost of living adjustment (COLA). Also, new STRS members who begin membership on or after July 1, 2013 will have to work longer to be eligible for survivor (5.00 years of qualifying service credit now required) and disability (10.00 years of qualifying service credit now required) benefits.

Changes to Defined Contribution Plan and Combined Plan... earlier this year, the STRS Board approved several changes that will impact those employees who participate in either the Defined Contribution Plan or the Combined Plan as well. While the employee portion increased from 10% to 11%, the overall amount that goes into the members’ accounts remains at 20.5%. That is because the employer portion that goes into the members’ accounts decreased from 10.5% to 9.5%, while the mitigating rate simultaneously increased from 3.5% to 4.5%. In other words, of the 14% that the employer contributes to STRS, 9.5% now goes to the employees’ account and 4.5% goes to help continue to pay off unfunded liabilities. Previously, the split was 10.5% going to the employees’ account and 3.5% going to pay off unfunded liabilities.

Changes to Alternate Retirement Plan… Finally, for those of you who may be covered under an Alternate Retirement Plan (ARP), there remains some question about how the increase in employee contributions must be applied. The STRS Board approved the same changes to the ARP as it did to the Defined Contribution Plan and the Combined Plan (regarding how the employer’s 14% contribution is split between the employee’s account and the mitigating rate). However, the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC) is challenging the STRS Board’s authority to make such a change to the ARP, due to its unique nature of not being managed by STRS. The ORSC believes that only they have the authority to adjust the mitigating rate upward, not the STRS Board. They sought an opinion from the Attorney General’s office on the matter, but the opinion that was provided does not seem to address the specific question, so discussions continue between the ORSC and the STRS Board regarding this issue.

Cost to purchase service credit to increase… If you have service credit that you are (or may be) eligible to purchase, you should be aware of changes coming soon. Effective January 1, 2014, purchased service subsidies will be eliminated and members will be required to pay the full projected liability created by the purchase of service credit. Purchasable service credit may include credit earned for private teaching, out-of-state teaching or public service, government service, military service, other Ohio public service, leave of absence due to pregnancy, waived Ohio public service (a common practice of graduate students), etc. In order to purchase service credit at the current rates, members must file all necessary forms for certification by December 31, 2013 and purchase the credit by June 30, 2014. Members who began purchasing service credit under a payroll deduction plan prior to January 7, 2013 can continue to complete their payoff at their current rate. In any case, STRS advises certifying any service credit that you may have as soon as possible.

CSEA Ongoing Activities

1) A reminder to all that the next CSEA Membership meeting will be held during Autumn Semester In-Service Day on September 26. Be on the lookout for an email from CSEA President Kevin James announcing the time and location for the meeting.

2) The CSEA Executive Committee is making arrangements to begin the process of preparing for the next contract negotiations, scheduled to begin early 2014. As part of the preparations, a survey will be created and disseminated to faculty that will hopefully provide invaluable information to the CSEA Executive Committee and the members of the contract negotiating team prior to the start of negotiations. Be on the lookout for this survey in next few months.

You can help by providing the CSEA Executive Committee your input into the types of questions you would like to see as part of the survey, as well as any additional items you feel the Executive Committee and/or the negotiating team should address (or be made aware of) in preparation for negotiations. Please send you queries/input to Kevin James at, Tom Shanahan at, or Eric Neubauer at

3) CSEA and Management Must Work Together - CSEA leaders and college management regularly work together to address issues facing the faculty in our bargaining unit. The roles and responsibilities of CSEA and management are different; yet, if both groups fulfill their responsibilities effectively, the resolutions to these issues are generally in the best interest of both the college and the faculty. CSEA has supported contractual language and college policies that encourage active engagement and ethical practice by all faculty because we have a strong interest in all faculty representing their colleagues and CSEA as quality education professionals and serving their students effectively.

Both CSEA and CSCC administration have a role in the process of ensuring legal, fair, ethical, and effective practice. Management’s responsibilities include:

  • To provide opportunities for faculty training and development to ensure successful work practices.
  • To discuss with faculty and document instances where policies or contractual obligations are not being met.
  • To reprimand and/or terminate employees whose written records provide sustained evidence of policy infractions and/or contractual infractions.
  • To ensure legal and ethical practice through adhering to the language set forth within the faculty contract.

Often, faculty unions are unfairly blamed for protecting faculty who do not fulfill their required responsibilities, yet it is the role of management – not union leadership – to address and document undesirable employee behaviors such as lack of following policy or contract language. Policy and contract language, written in part by faculty and/or CSEA, intentionally provide some set expectations about faculty responsibilities. Faculty may help to encourage all faculty to fulfill their responsibilities by mentoring their colleagues as needed and informing chairpersons when they witness other faculty engaging in undesirable behaviors.

As an organization, CSEA has several obligations. These responsibilities include:

  • To ensure due process for all bargaining unit members.
  • To protect faculty rights outlined within the contract.
  • To prevent unwanted precedents in practice by protecting faculty rights within the contract and ensuring due process for all bargaining unit members.

As CSEA engages in these obligations, its leaders do so expecting that college management has done their job as outlined above. If college management has not done its job, it is not within CSEA’s scope of responsibility to do it for them.

CSEA leaders and CSCC administration leaders meet regularly in Labor Management Committee meetings to discuss current issues as they arise. If faculty have issues they believe should be addressed with the administration, please let the CSEA association representatives know.

CSEA Advocacy and Support

Part-Time Labor and the Affordable Care Act


By October 1, 2013, all CSCC staff should get a notice from CSCC that explains the healthcare exchanges/marketplaces they can participate in as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. As of October, those without insurance should be able to pre-enroll in these marketplace options. If someone would like insurance beginning January 2014, they will be required to enroll by December 15, 2013. Here is an online calculator that can help estimate healthcare costs on the marketplace:


In 2014, every individual will need to have qualifying health coverage. There is a safe harbor in the first months of 2014, but individuals who do not have qualifying health coverage after March will be assessed a fine, the greater of $95 or 1% of gross income. Exceptions will be made for very low income individuals.


Initially, the individual mandate and employer mandates would have both occurred in 2014. However, the employer mandate has been delayed until 2015. Starting in January 2015, employers will need to provide an affordable, minimum value, health benefit to all employees that work on average over 30 hours a week. CSCC administration’s initial response to this forthcoming policy was to announce a severe reduction of part-time hours; this in turn generated many scheduling issues in terms of limiting department’s ability to utilize part-time labor. However, as our last column indicated, this was putting the cart before the horse as CSCC did not indicate what type of look-back policy they would establish to determine whether an individual labored 30 hours per week. ACA mandates that if an employee exceeds 30 hours a week in a look-back period, that individual will be provided coverage in the following look-back period.

Now, we have over a year to discuss what CSCC’s look-back policy should be. A three month look-back period would create the potential for many employees to exceed a 30 hour threshold, while longer periods, six months to a year, might lessen the number of part-timers exceeding a 30 hour per week average. In addition, when these periods start and end would also create different models of coverage. We believe that all departments and staff should be a part of a conversation about CSCC’slook-back and that collectively we can produce a model that complies with the ACA and sustains department staffing levels and scheduling flexibility.

Faculty Updates

New Faculty

CSEA would like to welcome our newest colleagues here at Columbus State Community College and extend our best wishes to them for the current semester and subsequent terms hereafter – you’re now part of the CSCC family!

Patricia Allen – Nursing

Kathy McManamon – Nursing

Andrea Pifher – Allied Health

Distinguished Full Professor Awards

CSEA would like to extend its congratulations to the following recipients of the Distinguished Full Professor Awards for 2012:

Robert Fitrakis, Ph.D., J.D. - Social Sciences

Thomas Habegger, Ph.D. - Sports and Exercise Studies

James Taylor, CEC – Hospitality Management

Gerald Mueller – Mathematics

Distinguished Teaching Awards

CSEA would like to extend its congratulations to the following recipients of the Distinguished Teaching Awards for 2012:

Fauna Stout – Medical Assisting Technology

Beth Barnett – Developmental Education

Eric Kenz – Biological Sciences

Dr. Rick Bartlett – Business Management

Distinguished Teaching Award Finalists

While only a few may be awarded winners, becoming a finalist for the Distinguished Teaching Award is an achievement itself. As such, CSEA would like to extend congratulations to the following colleagues who were considered for the Distinguished Teaching Award for 2012:

Selloane Asiamah – Social Sciences

Ron Elizaga – Psychology

Rita Ralph - Mathematics

Don Ricker – Social Sciences

Peter “Bo” Riley – Humanities

David Tom – Psychology

Faculty Spotlight

For this issue, the CSEA Communications Committee interviewed Jennifer Dragoo, an Instructor of Mathematics in the Developmental Education Department. She taught as an adjunct at Columbus State before becoming a full-time faculty member.

How long were you an adjunct before you became a full-time faculty member?

I was an adjunct for 8 years (9/03-9/11) before becoming a full time instructor in my department (9/11-present).

What were the challenges of leaving part time to go full time?

While I was an adjunct, I tried to participate and contribute as much as I could within my department, so when I was hired on as a full time instructor it felt very natural to continue in this service. However, it was a bit of a challenge to find the right “fit” among the available opportunities to serve the college and division. Additionally, the doubling of my course load coupled with additional meetings and overall time on campus required me to make some big changes in both my personal and professional life.

What are the pros of becoming a full time instructor?

Our department’s materials, assignments, and assessments are all departmentalized, meaning that all instructors use the same tests, quizzes, note packets, etc. Being full time, I have been able to make large contributions to the curriculum, especially when the college made the switch to semesters. To me this was a definite pro of becoming full time. Another pro is that I have office hours each week. I love having office hours! As an adjunct it was very difficult to meet with students outside of class, but having office hours as well as a place to meet has made a big difference to my students. They find me more accessible and feel like they can get individualized help outside of the class by either dropping in or making an appointment.

What are the benefits of CSEA membership or how has CSEA assisted you?

I feel that CSEA keeps me informed. The Word is frequently how I keep up with the newest contract negotiations, what is happening at the Statehouse, and all of the work that is done in making Columbus State Community College a better campus community. I feel very fortunate to have such an organization working for and on my behalf.

Were there any additional positives that were discovered after being in the full time position after the first year?

One big positive is that I have become a Lead Instructor within my department. This has given me more responsibility within the department, the opportunity to help resolve issues, and work more closely with the adjuncts.

What have been the most substantial changes that you have encountered going from part time to full time?

I believe that I transitioned very easily into the full time position because of my years as an adjunct. So, I wasn’t very surprised by the time commitment, additional responsibilities, or greater teaching load.

Featured Article

CSEA Communications Committee member Mark Polifroni contributes for this issue:

The Tweet that Got Away: Conducting Research Is Not an Excuse for Unethical Behavior

Please consider the following Tweet:

“Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth.”

Probably not the best statement to make on Twitter, especially when one is a professor and sits on the acceptance committee for incoming graduate students. The Professor, an Evolutionary Psychologist at New Mexico University, tweeted the statement recently. A virtual firestorm subsequently erupted, the tweet was deleted, and when pressed for details, the Professor trotted out a well-established excuse that he was conducting psychological “research” and that the tweet was simply part of an experiment.

That researchers continue to attempt to excuse illegal/illicit/immoral behavior by calling it “research” astounds me. The responses to these Professors’ defensive research gambits are becoming increasingly common: “Research? Let us see your IRB protocol”. It is a fool’s gambit to be sure. Saying one is doing something as “research” no longer diminishes scrutiny of the activity, it increases it. When I declare an activity as “research” it requires that I have an IRB protocol or have determined that the research I am conducting is exempt from IRB approval.

Why is a research protocol required? First and foremost, to protect the research participant from harm, either physical or psychological. For example, what impact might the Professor’s twitter-based “experiment” on overweight and rejected graduate school candidates? Is it beyond reasonable to imagine a rejected applicant committing suicide, pushed over the brink by their inability to muster necessary “willpower” to tackle life’s tasks as deemed so important to the gatekeeper Professor?

Equally important is that a research protocol protects the researcher. Anticipating unanticipated consequences is by definition a virtual impossibility. The research protocol facilitates the process of sharing a research idea with others, assisting the researcher to anticipate the difficult to anticipate. The potential harms to our participants readily escape those closest to the research project; those who create the research and have therefore a large investment in its success.

Fortunately for those of us that wish to conduct research, we have as a significant resource: The Columbus State Community College Institutional Review Board ( When do we need to utilize this resource? Procedure 13-08 from the COLUMBUS STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL is quite clear:

(3) Research studies, projects, and surveys initiated and conducted by CSCC faculty, staff, students, and managers; or those studies, projects, and surveys utilizing CSCC faculty, staff, students, and/or managers as subjects must be reviewed and approved in writing by the IRB before the research study, project, or survey is initiated.

(4) Columbus State Community College (CSCC) faculty, staff, students, and managers conducting research studies, projects, and surveys or others conducting studies, projects, and surveys utilizing CSCC faculty, staff, students, and/or managers as subjects will consult the Columbus State Community College’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) website for guidelines or contact the IRB Administrator in the Grants Office for assistance. (

Does this apply to all research? No, it does not—there are exemptions. For example, research that is used in the classroom as “teaching examples” is largely exempt from review. When supervising student conducted research for Psy520 (Experimental Social Psychology) at Ohio State, I was not required to submit IRB protocols because the research was conducted as “teaching examples”. Not that I felt a weight was lifted from my shoulders because of that. In fact, it forced me into the shoes of being the “IRB” for the class, scrutinizing the students’ research designs for potential harm to research participants.

Research that collects existing/archival data and leaves no potential for identification of the “participants” is largely exempt from review as well ( But consider the following:

The IRB, not the investigator, shall make the determination as to whether a project is or is not exempt. To obtain an exemption, an investigator must complete an Exempt Protocol citing the specific exemption category and providing justification for the exemption.” (, p. 8)

Confused? It certainly can be confusing. One of the first sources of information for the aspiring researcher (besides CSCC IRB Procedures) are discipline specific organizations. For example, as an Experimental Social Psychologist, I use as a guide the American Psychological Association’s detailed information on Ethical Practices in Research ( The following is from the APA:

The development of a dynamic set of ethical standards for psychologists' work-related conduct requires a personal commitment and lifelong effort to act ethically; to encourage ethical behavior by students, supervisees, employees and colleagues; and to consult with others concerning ethical problems.(, p. 2).

To conduct ethical research (as described by the APA) requires me to understand the potential for negative impact on my participants and take all necessary steps to mitigate those potential effects. As well, I am constrained in my ability to conduct research without a participant’s prior consent and my use of deception in that research. The best way to adequately check my perceptions of the potential impact on my participants is to:

  1. Talk to my colleagues and benefit from their experiences, perceptions, and feedback.
  2. Consult my professional organization(s).
  3. Consult Columbus State Community College’s Institutional Review Board.

I believe we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct research at Columbus State. We must be careful to not sully the reputation of Columbus State as a research institution as well as protect the public’s perception of research in general. Consider too, that we are training the next generation of researchers; let us send them forward with the same allegiance to ethical research practices to which we adhere.

Research is no longer a casual, independent endeavor. It is a collaborative process, to be conducted in a manner that protects the participants’ privacy and dignity thoughtfully and transparently. And it is certainly not to be employed as an excuse for unprofessional and unethical behavior.

Know Your Contract

Many faculty and departments are planning activities to volunteer their time throughout the wider Columbus community during the upcoming Autumn Semester In-Service Day. While the CSEA Executive Committee encourages faculty and departments to volunteer their time and work with members in the community, faculty may still choose to spend their time during In-Service Day engaged in any appropriate mission and support related activities. Faculty engaged in any appropriate mission and support activities during In-Service Day will not be required to take leave (note that appropriate leave time will need to be taken if not attending any scheduled department meetings on In-Service Day).

Section 4.02 – In-Service Day

It is understood that department meetings will generally occur on In-Service Day. If there is no department meeting scheduled, a faculty member may engage in activities such as curriculum committees, assessment committees, lead and coordinator meetings, interdisciplinary meetings, or other mission and learning support related activities with the concurrence of the chairperson. Such concurrence will not be unreasonably denied. If there is no department meeting scheduled, then faculty scheduled to teach evening courses may be excused by their chairperson prior to 4:30 that day. It is further understood that department meetings generally would occur during the 3:00 – 4:30 time period on that day, provided that the appropriate 2-week notice has been given.

Faculty are expected to work at least 6.5 hours on any In-Service Day. Any absence during said 6.5 hours will require appropriate leave for the actual time missed.

If a faculty member has established web hours that day that are posted and are required to be worked, then the 6.5 hours can be adjusted/modified if approved in advance by the chairperson.

CSEA Representatives

Executive Council - Officers

Kevin James President 287-5008
Tom Shanahan Vice-President 287-2623
Eric Neubauer Secretary 287-5698
Michelle Duda Treasurer 287-2607
Ingrid Emch Parliamentarian 287-5824

Executive Council - Senior Representatives

Amy Brubaker Career & Technical Div. 287-5068
Adam Keller Arts & Sciences Div. 287-2562

Department Representatives

Judy Anderson Developmental Education 287-5822
Beth Barnett Hospitality, Massage Therapy, Sports & Exercise Studies 287-2593
Crystal Clark Humanities 287-5451
Deb Dyer Human Services 287-2477
Terry Eisele Modern Languages 287-5202
Dianne Fidelibus Physical Sciences 287-5015
Ty Fogle Business Programs 287-5781
Lydia Gilmore Health, Dental and Veterinary Technologies 287-3908
Frankie Hale Communication 287-5184
Chuck Kassor Construction Sciences 287-7108
Sue Longenbaker Biological Sciences 287-2430
Phil MacLean Justice & Safety 287-5308
Carla Mayers-Bletsch Allied Health 287-5235
Jackie Miller Nursing 287-2601
Mark Mitchell Automotive and Applied Technologies 287-3612
Antoinette Perkins Integrated Media and Technology 287-5754
Dona Reaser Delaware Campus (740)-203-8231
Rita Rice Psychology 287-5818
Gilberto Serrano Mathematics 287-3863
Edgar Velez English 287-3694
Li Yang Social Sciences 287-5929

The Word from CSEA is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association – Judy Anderson, Darrell Minor, Eric Neubauer, Amy Ng, and Mark Polifroni. We welcome your comments, news, and insights. Please send all correspondences to Eric Neubauer at

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