The 2017-2018 academic year is upon us, and I am happy to report that IFO grassroots organizing effort is underway.
There are two basic elements to any organizing campaign or effort: recruitment and engagement. Recruitment is the process of welcoming new folks to the team. It’s about proving the value of IFO membership and convincing fair share faculty to join the cause. Engagement, on the other hand, is about taking the time to get to know someone and finding ways for that individual to use her or his unique strengths to work toward a common goal. In short, it is about getting people to actually do stuff in a way that works for them.
This year is an opportunity to begin the process of recruiting and engaging faculty to a degree never before seen. And we plan to do that the old-fashioned way - the way that works - by taking the time to sit down and talk with faculty, peer-to-peer, one-to-one. We hold the vision of every single state university faculty member feeling welcomed, included, and heard.
In order to make this vision a reality, I am in the process of collaborating with local campus leadership to form teams of volunteer faculty organizers on each state university campus. In teams of approximately 3-5, volunteer organizers will engage in peer-to-peer outreach in order to increase participation in IFO activities and contribute to the strength of the union.
After my initial round of campus visits, I am left feeling energized and optimistic. The faculty I have met possess a deep commitment to the IFO and have a strong sense of urgency to help the organization continue to protect the interests of faculty. I also feel a strong sense of gratitude for the opportunity to work shoulder-to-shoulder with these folks and ensure the IFO continues to thrive for years to come. I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.