UIC faculty grievance update

**This report on recent and active grievances is part of an ongoing series. UICUF’s goal is to provide a window into the grievance process and in doing so, educate members about options we may have when we believe our contractual rights are not being upheld.

If you have questions about the grievance process, the first step is to contact your elected UICUF representative, or reach out to the union directly: uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com**

Dear members,

In mid-Feb 2023, Associate Professor and founding head of Art Education Karyn Sandlos was notified by School of Art & Art History (SAAH) Director Omur Harmansah that she did not have an administrative role in the Art Education program, would lose her usual summer stipend for performing that work, and would not receive her annual release time in exchange for administrative work performed during the 2023-24 academic year. This email came as a surprise to Dr. Sandlos as Director Harmansah did not ask to meet with her to discuss the proposed program leadership change, or the impact on Sandlos’s workload and the program itself.

There appeared to be no plan for who would be the administrative head of the Art Education program going forward. Director Harmansah claimed that a clinical faculty member who has a full teaching load and no release time, and who receives only a small stipend to perform administrative work, was the only administrator in Art Education.

Requests by Dr. Sandlos to formalize an administrative title and role for herself as the founding head of Art Education have been denied by the CADA Dean’s office without explanation. To date, Sandlos continues to lead the Art Education program and perform the majority of the administrative work to ensure the success of the program and students, as she has done since she founded the program in 2017.

The actions taken against Dr. Sandlos follow a period of time in which she was outspoken in her role as elected faculty union representative for CADA during the months leading up to the faculty strike by UIC United Faculty in Jan 2023. In filing a grievance, Sandlos is defending her contractually protected right to participate in shared governance and union activity without retaliation, and against arbitrary and unilateral changes being made to faculty workload without the faculty member’s input or consent. Sandlos is also advocating for administrative stability and continuity in the Art Education program.

Following attempts to clarify the situation and work out an informal resolution with the CADA Dean’s office, Sandlos filed a formal grievance in March 2023. The grievance has been denied by UIC and CADA at Levels 1, 2, and 3.