Over the past days, much attention has been directed to the vote by the FFA and as a result, to me. Those who know me well understand that attention is not something I seek. When you witness, for more than a decade and a half, the growth of a great and substantial university, you understand that successes and accomplishments are the result of many. When we do great things, many people earn and deserve congratulations for their efforts. When things go wrong, ultimately they are my fault. This I believe, acknowledge and accept.
Since the vote was scheduled, I have received many notes and messages. They come from faculty, staff, students, emeriti; from people in our communities; from alumni, donors and other University supporters; and from friends and colleagues across the country. I even heard from one alumnus who wrote about the negative impact a three-day strike had on him his senior year in 1980 when Bob Ewigleben was president. Given the anger, hard feelings displayed and demonstrations in recent weeks, I had no expectation that the messages would be positive. Nearly every one was. It is very humbling to receive so much encouragement and support.
I have worked late into the night over the past week answering every message. To each and every person who has written to me, or taken time to talk with me, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your concern and support are deeply appreciated.
While the attention of this vote is directed to me, in truth it touches every person in our community. The negative energy this generates affects everyone. The simple reality is that we are all in this together. Right now there are many, many people in our University community who have been impacted by this and who need encouragement and support. Please take a moment to help someone you know, a coworker or colleague, a faculty or staff member, or a student. Now is the time you can make a difference. The only way we can change this climate of anger and animosity that has developed, is through acts of human kindness and compassion, both large and small, deliberate and random. Together we can have this become the norm at the University where we dedicate so much of our time and energies. Our collective efforts determine what the culture will be here, and we should accept nothing less.
Although these votes have been a part of our history, it is something I believed we had grown beyond. I heard it repeated again this week “… in times of challenge universities circle the wagons and shoot inward.” What has occurred over the past few weeks at our University is disruptive, not so much for me, but for you, for everyone who works or studies here, and for our University. As I write this I am terribly disappointed and saddened, not for me, but for us.
I encourage the FFA to return to the bargaining table, negotiate and help the faculty they represent get a contract. The University is ready to meet with them and will meet every day until we reach an agreement.
Earlier this week I wrote that there is no greater privilege for me than to serve as president of Ferris State University. Please know that I remain determined and committed more than ever to work for our University, for our students and for our future. Thank you for your help and support.
It is an honor to serve as your president.
David L. Eisler
Negotiating Process and Related Issues (Sept. 24, 2018)
Financial Implications of the Current Bargaining Positions (Sept. 24, 2018)
Administrative Structure (Sept. 24, 2018)
Contract Proposal Facts and Figures (Sept. 24, 2018)
Frequently Asked Questions (Aug. 26, 2018)
Board of Trustees Responds to Vote of No Confidence (Sept. 28, 2018)
President's Response to Resolution of No Confidence (Sept. 24, 2018)
Letter to the University Community from The Ferris Foundation (Sept. 21, 2018)
An Open Letter to the FSU Community from the Board of Trustees (Sept. 20, 2018)
President’s Message to Campus/Negotiations Update (Sept. 17, 2018)
University and FFA Negotiations Update (Sept. 6, 2018)
University and FFA Contract Negotiations Update (Aug. 30, 2018)
Faculty Returning to Work, Negotiations to Continue (Aug. 27, 2018)
FFA Negotiations Update (Aug. 26, 2018)
Faculty Negotiations Update for Students (Aug. 26, 2018)
University Requests Fact Finding, Negotiations to Continue (Aug. 25, 2018)
University, FFA Continue Contract Negotiations (Aug. 24, 2018)
Enrollment Challenges (2013-18): Ferris Comparative Data (Aug. 27, 2018)
Cover Letter for University Proposal in Mediation (Aug. 24, 2018)
University Proposal in Mediation (Aug. 24, 2018)
Faculty Salary Survey of Michigan Universities (Aug. 24, 2018)