Faculty Senate Announces Intentions for Legal Action Against Fordham

The Faculty Senate announced its intentions to take legal action against the university in an email sent to faculty members on Friday Nov. 20. 

The executive committee of the Faculty Senate held a special meeting where it voted unanimously to take appropriate legal steps to address the Board of Trustees executive committee’s unilateral decision to stop negotiations between the administration and the faculty and to halt contributions to faculty retirement benefits. 

The Senate previously said they were considering actions including unionizing the faculty, filing a lawsuit against the university and dropping some faculty functions by adopting “work to rule.”

The resolution also agreed to reaffirm the faculty’s commitment to their students, to reiterate their hope that the Board of Trustees will honor the idea of shared governance and to solicit contributions from the faculty for legal fees and other expenses. The email said they intend to put these actions into place within the next few days. 

“It is with regret that we will do so, as we continue to hope that even in these difficult times, the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees will be able to resume negotiations and resolve our differences by mutual agreement, in accordance with the University Statutes,” read the email. “We pledge to keep the faculty informed as we pursue the next steps and are grateful for our colleagues’ input and support.” 

The email also said 131 faculty members attended an open forum held by the Senate and the Faculty Salary and Benefits Committee. They were polled about the steps the Senate might take in addressing their issues with the administration. 107 people said they strongly favored legal action and 24 said they favored legal action. More than 96% of attendees said they would likely or very likely contribute to a fund for legal expenses.