Negotiation and students

Ferris student Greg Priester said he does not like tuition increases, but he understands students have to pay more for better professors.

“I do not mind a two or three percent raise in tuition prices, as long as it goes to benefit the professors,” said Priester in regard to the recent agreement upon a contract between the Ferris Faculty Association (FFA) and Ferris administrators.

Marc Sheehan, communications officer for the administration, said students were happy to hear there was not a disruption in classes during the formation of the contract.

Sheehan said Ferris has been able to keep its tuition growth low in comparison to other universities in the state. He said he believes the contract will help continue that trend.

“It was terrific to finally get the contract done,” said Sheehan.

Sophomore Petra Coronado said students might always have a negative reaction when it comes to tuition due to the rising costs.

“It is a three-year contract, so I think that will give some stability to look out into the future,” said Sheehan.

He also said it will help students do the planning they need in order to get their degrees. When negotiating the contract, Sheehan said some of the biggest factors discussed were the wage increases. He said health care essentially remains unchanged from the previous contract. He also said there is definitely support from the faculty in terms of health care, which “was very fair to the faculty.”

He said the contract is not radically different from the previous contract.

“The bottom line is that with things that are as important as faculty contracts, decisions have to be made within the best interest of the students in mind,” said Sheehan.

President of the FFA Jim Rumpf said students have not approached him personally with any questions or comments regarding the contract. However, he said other instructors have mentioned discussions with students.

“The contract affects students by defining current faculty workloads and compensation, and it governs our ability to attract and retain high-quality instructors,” said Rumpf.

An important factor of the contract is it has to balance the level of tuition to keep it affordable to students and offer a level of compensation to faculty in order to obtain and retain first rate faculty.

“I believe that this contract does not address important quality issues that faculty raised during negotiations, and if not corrected, will have a negative effect on past, present and future students by eroding the value of a Ferris degree,” said Rumpf.

Rumpf also said he does not feel the contract was made in the best interest of students and believes it has potential to do great harm long-term.

For now, students are glad classes are able to resume without any interruptions.

“As far as the contract goes, the amount of time it took was a bit extreme; however, classes still went on, so it does not bother the length of time it took to get it right,” said Priester. n