Catherine Carrera, North Jersey Record
‘Antagonistic’ to the faculty?
On the academic side, Barchi has seen pressure mount to a near-strike from his unionized faculty.
Faculty and students stormed in on Board of Governors meetings throughout the past year demanding that Barchi meet their requests as contract negotiations ensued. In the spring, the largest union, representing 8,000 faculty members, threatened to strike if an agreement wasn’t reached by a certain date. Eventually both sides agreed on a new deal.
“I feel like if you look at Barchi’s tenure, it’s very mixed. He’s done some good things, and we should recognize and celebrate those things,” said Todd Wolfson, president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, highlighting the formation of RBHS and the membership in the Big Ten academic alliance. “But I think that his approach to unionized faculty and workers was antagonistic. What we felt was they didn’t approach the union with the kind of respect the faculty union deserves. It’s one of the reasons why the faculty almost went on strike.”