UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS - UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- UI students are back from summer break, but one teacher says it's a bittersweet time for some faculty members.
On one hand, many say they're happy to be back at work. On the other, they say the university still isn't running at the top of its game due to budget issues.
Many teachers are working under new conditions this semester. Non-tenured faculty are working under a new contract.
At the end of last semester, many went on a short strike while the union and university were negotiating. They wanted multi-year contracts and the opportunity to renew among other things.
Eventually, both parties agreed to a contract they saw as fair. The president of the Campus Faculty Association says those employees came back to campus feeling more secure, but he says the university is still losing people.
He says at least 20 tenured faculty members he knows have left and it doesn't seem like they're being replaced. In his department alone, made up of 12 people, he says three have left since last semester. That's 25% of the department.
He says there will be long-term damage to the state's economy if the university continues to lose teachers.
Rosenstock says he looks forward to working with the new chancellor. Robert Jones starts in early October. They'll work together in the Senate and hopes they'll hit the ground running as far as budget talks are concerned.