This article was originally posted on Feb. 2, 2019.
Wright State University (WSU) in Fairborn, Ohio, just 10 miles from the University of Dayton, is currently facing a faculty union strike.
Faculty who are part of WSU’s American Association of University Professors chapter began their strike on Jan. 22 to call attention to issues they have faced the past several years. Some of these problems include budget cuts, benefit changes and layoffs.
Specifically, reduced health benefits and contracts with no raises offered to faculty arose partly because of WSU’s financial challenges. Due to overspending and a lack of donations, the university is facing a fiscal crisis it may not recover from for 20 years, according to the Dayton Daily News.
WSU professors state they are choosing to partake in the labor dispute to fight for fair contracts. They also want to maintain a quality learning environment for students, upholding the university’s standards.
Many students are supportive of their professors’ right to strike, even joining them in the picket lines.
“Personally, I side with the union,” says WSU student Brayden Kenney. “I know my professors that are participating in the strike truly care about their course materials and they have their students’ best interests in mind.”
However, not everyone thinks the strike is in the students’ best interest. Sammie Andrus, senior marketing major at WSU, said it is extremely frustrating to have faculty picketing on campus.
“It’s my last semester before I graduate and I don’t feel like I’m getting the education I’m paying for,” Andrus said. “The administration and the union faculty have stood by the fact that they care the most about the students… but then they’ve gone and left us stranded.”
Classes are still being held on campus during the strike, but many courses no longer have teachers. Professors across departments are investing extra time to substitute for classes that should be taught by one of the faculty members on strike.
In the meantime, WSU has decided to extend the deadline for when students can withdraw from a class without penalty.
It is currently unclear how much longer the strike will continue.
Photo taken from WYSO.