This space is reserved for individuals who have accepted a nomination to run for office in the April 2019 election of the Berklee Faculty Union. Each candidate may publish a statement.

Candidates may submit material to Election Committee member Rob Hochschild (rhochschild@berklee.edu). Once candidate status and content requirements are confirmed, material will be submitted for publication in this space. This process may take several days.

Candidates for president

Stephanie Kellar

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Hello! I’m running for BFU president on a springboard of change to empower each of us, raise our voices and visibility, and meet impending challenges head on. I’m an experienced marketing communication expert and have been teaching introductory marketing, advanced digital and social media marketing, music product development, and business communication at Berklee for twelve years. My professional relationship with the college reaches back to 1998. I hold two degrees in communication and a minor in jazz vocal performance.

The urgent issues we face include achieving parity for Conservatory faculty and protecting our most vulnerable part-timers hovering near or below 27 teaching units per academic year, as well as others carrying full or near full-time loads without full-time benefits, which sums to most part time faculty. We are also contending with limited conversions; inconsistent handling of conversions, sabbaticals, and performance reviews across departments; an upsurge in unpaid service work; the increasing expectation for faculty to be job placement agents for students; and low minimum pay rates that are further lowered by unequal weighting of subject matter. 

This is a short list of contractual issues and oddities—some new, some old—I will advance as president after seeking extensive faculty input to further define and prioritize them before our next bargain in 2021. If management expects to change culture, they must direct money to faculty compensation and benefits, not more real estate, equipment, administrators, and consultants. Pay parity with competing institutions is only part of a much larger conversation about equity. While management wants to limits its scope, Title IX is a floor, not a ceiling.

The summary of my offer is to bring 35 years of corporate and academic proficiency into service for all faculty. We need representation with deep, holistic knowledge of Berklee and business to gain advantage and drive us forward faster. 

 

In consideration of your vote, please evaluate my position, qualifications, and plan of action at kellarforbfupres.com.

I support Todd Gardner, Esq. for EVP and Andrew Shryock for Secretary/Treasurer with confidence and enthusiasm.

This election is our chance to take a leap ahead and turn our union into a powerhouse. Please vote forward. Thank you kindly.


Will Silvio

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I am running for the office of president of the Berklee Faculty Union.  I am committed to working on behalf of all faculty to improve our wages, hours and working conditions.  Faculty know me as someone they can count on to listen to and offer solutions to their work related concerns.

I have gained invaluable experience working with both the founding president Mike Scott and his successor Jackson Schultz.  As office manager, I have insured the smooth daily running of the organization for almost two decades.  Having served on eight bargaining teams, I know what it takes to navigate the collective bargaining process.  I have been a full and part time faculty member so I possess a thorough understanding of the unique issues facing both groups.  Also, given storied history of our faculty union’s origins, I am committed to its continuing evolution even in the face of a bloated management’s relentless expansionism while neglecting faculty salaries and ignoring woeful classroom conditions.  

As president, I will work to seek wage increases that will make us competitive with other music colleges and departments around the country and which will address the specific economic challenges we face living in the Boston area. I will also seek to achieve contractual parity for our new colleagues from BOCO.  They deserve to be treated with the same respect and consideration as our long-standing Berklee faculty.  Lastly, I will improve communication and outreach to all our Berklee and BOCO faculty members. Communication is vital to the strength and effectiveness of our union.  

Over the years I have seen first hand the dedication and hard work needed to advocate for a faculty that has grown to almost 900 strong.  I believe my extensive experience in the organization makes me uniquely qualified to take on that job.  I ask for your vote in this April’s election.  I would be greatly honored to serve as your union president.

I support David Scott for Executive Vice President, Andrew Shryock for Secretary/Treasurer, Prince Charles Alexander for Grievance Officer, Elizabeth Seitz for Vice President of Full Time and Wendy Rolfe for Vice President of Part Time.


Candidates for executive vice president

Todd Gardner

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I am Todd Gardner, a candidate for Executive Vice President. I’m a full-time associate professor teaching taxation, accounting, and business startups since 2014. I’m also faculty advisor for the Music Business Journal. Previously, I taught at Westminster College. I hold a BS, MBA, and JD, and attended the Straus Institute.

I’ve been a business professional and attorney for over 25 years starting as a Federal CJA Panel Attorney and LDA Conflicts Counsel. My practice grew from criminal defense to civil litigation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution within the context of contracts, entertainment, environmental and health law. I’ve advocated for after-school arts programs for at-risk youth and played drums for the JD Moffat Quartet.

My Executive Vice President election will bring seasoned legal advocacy and financial expertise to the union executive team in dedicated service to all faculty. I’m ready to work for our advancement and I ask for your vote. My faculty bio is here. Thank you for your consideration.


David Scott

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I’m David Scott, and I’m running for Executive Vice President of the Berklee Faculty Union.

When I joined the Executive Committee as Councilor-at-Large in 2012, I didn’t know that I would grow to love this work so much. As chair of the Communication Committee, I mobilized the department reps to create a database of private email addresses and phone numbers. I began sending regular e-newsletters, writing and editing the news for our website, and building our social media networks.

With help from state and national AFT, I designed our “sharp” logo and manufactured our t-shirts and buttons, and planned two BTOT sessions and a department rep training.

Communications is not just top-down! I am aware of the most important problems facing Berklee faculty because I wrote, designed, and evaluated the results of two iterations of member surveys and chair/dean evaluations. I created one formal and one informal online workspace where officers, department reps, and rank-and-file members can share ideas. And I have engaged over 500 members by text.

As Executive Vice President, I would supercharge these networks of members to get us into the habit of collective action. I am committed to making change by mobilizing members to take action. As a member of the last two bargaining teams, I became aware of exactly how management blocks changes that would benefit our members. I am constantly asking questions, because I believe that the job of the executive VP isn’t to pursue his priorities, but the priorities of the members.

I hope to serve alongside Will Silvio as President. I ask for your vote in this momentous election.

  •     Committed to action

  •     Aware of the issues

  •     Asks questions

For more information, email dscott@berkleefacultyunion.org or check out my website http://davidthornescott.com/dave_for_exec_vp/


candidates for secretary-treasurer

Andrew Shryock

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Andrew Shryock, running for Secretary-Treasurer, is an Associate Professor at the Conservatory.

My motivation for running is simple: I’m convinced Union leadership must support membership, not the other way around. As Secretary-Treasurer, I will publish (in advance) the Executive Committee meeting schedule, itemized agendas, and notice of closed sessions. I will advocate for “Member Participation” periods, in which any faculty member may introduce new business. I will expand Budget Committee membership and implement “advance budgeting,” to invite collective discussion on future spending. Further, I will publish reports similar to those I’ve authored as Union Councilor, which include faculty salary statistics and peer salary statistics, newsletter articles, and for the 2018 Negotiating Committee, reports on wages, workload, equity, and College financial documents. Before Berklee, I directed administration and budgeting as General Manager at the Boston Camerata, an ensemble with annual revenue comparable to our Union. Feel free to reach out: mailto:ashryock@berklee.edu.


candidates for vice president, full-time faculty

Andrea “Ani” Johnson

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I’m Andrea “Ani” Johnson, a full-time Associate Professor, international lecturer, and consultant in music licensing, marketing, and strategic management for over twenty years. I’ve spoken internationally, on CNN “TheLead”, at MIDEM (Cannes, France)InHolland University, (Netherlands) and Berklee Valencia and published “What’s Up with MXSup’s” in the MEIEA Journal. Previously, I created and directed the music business program at Greenville University for five years and taught at the University of Miami. I hold a Master of Music Industry degree from University of Miami and an undergraduate degree in Vocal Performance from University of Colorado. 

Before becoming an educator, my work as Accounting Manager for Gloria Estefan included restructuring financial systems and managing royalties/licenses for her Sony Music venture. In that role I advocated for our songwriters and producers to insure they were paid fairly and on time. As a licensing consultant, my past clients include Palm PicturesRykodisc, and Warner Bros where I negotiated and licensed over 30 albums for artists including Elton JohnParliament-Funkadelic, and Fleetwood Mac. As you can see, even though I worked at corporate offices, MY FOCUS has always been on advocating for artists, negotiating on their behalf and insuring they were paid.  These complex contract negotiations taught me how to read “the fine print” and find ways to secure additional rights for my clients: more money, more promotion and better distribution rights.  I want to use my skills to do this for YOU as a member of the negotiating team and the VP of Full Time Faculty.   

The most important thing you should know about me, is that I am running to advocate for each and every one of us to advance our careers as educators and creators.  We are an amazing collective of creative talent and I will defend our right to job security and fair compensation.  

Ani Johnson’s Platform for VP of Full-Time Faculty

  1. Assist full-time faculty with promotion to associate or full professor.

  2. Increase part-time faculty conversions to full-time status.  I want the administration to see you and respect you because you are 60% of our workforce.  Without you, we don’t exist.

I believe we can accomplish this by advancing the careers of ALL FACULTY through publishing, gigging opportunities, speaking engagements, portfolio organization, interviews, and panels in the following ways:

  • Online Store: BFU online storefront to publish, sell and promote your content (scores, books, articles, awards). I can negotiate agreements, advise you on your rights and help you distribute your content through BFU.

  • Ask a Colleague: Weekly drop-in where you offer your wisdom. How about a collaboration event for songwriters, music business advice on licensing your work, research writing critiques or recording advice to help you refine mixes? We all have things that we are great at, and we can mine that experience to help each other!

  • Gig Database: Need a sub for a gig, recording, songwriting partner, producer or arranger? Our campus is FULL OF TALENT and yet we don’t know who to call. Create a BFU page to hire professionals. You remember when the AFM got you gigs right?

  • Faculty Engagement Communities: Involve faculty in creating the solutions on campus. Your voice, your ideas, your research.

  • Negotiating Committee: tackle issues that plague your department to improve your working conditions and reduce workload so you have time to research, write and perform.

  • Faculty Promotion Advisory Committee: Need help putting together your promotion materials? Let those of us who have done it help those of you who haven’t. Be seen in your best light and GET THAT MONEY!

  • Budget Committee: What COULD we do with our dues to help our faculty? Shape OUR future with scholarships, fund a project, speak at a conference. We can’t rely on our employer. Let’s support and fund each other.

  • Communication Committee: Create online (and real life) faculty development communities at BFU to discuss promotion, professional development, curriculum, and administration issues.


Teodros Kiros

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To My Beloved Colleagues

My name is Teodros KIros (Ph.D.), professor of Philosophy and Literature in the Liberal Arts dept. and a Du Bois Fellow at Harvard University.

I am an author of 13 stellar book. Amazon.com: Teodros Kiros

Also, I am the producer of African Ascent, an internationally acclaimed television program, 15 years in the running.

Four years ago, I served in our Union as a councilor and learned the art and science of working for the common good from my colleagues through observation and keen listening. I would now like to use that knowledge to serve you my beloved and hardworking colleagues as your VP. The position which I seek requires that one honors ones colleagues by listening to them and respectfully synthesizing the multiple experiences and passions of the members of the Executive committee so that we can collectively articulate a vision of the common good to serve the faculty effectively.

I am known to be an effective communicator and would like to use this skill and work with the other officers and advance the dreams and aspirations of the hard working and highly intelligent faculty.

If elected, I will devote my time to articulate and fight for four goals:

(1) Increase the number of conversions in dialogue with my colleagues

(2) advocate for salary increase of the underpaid faculty members.

(3) Reduce the tension and anxiety of job termination across the college.

(4) Familiarize the faculty with the work of the Executive committee by getting to know every faculty member and learn about their needs and interests.

I am also known to be passionate and committed and would like to spread this passion and commitment to advance the collective vision of the Union and the College.

Thanks in advance for voting for me.


Elizabeth Seitz

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I am Elizabeth Seitz, and I am running for Vice President, Full-Time Faculty. I appreciate the opportunity to introduce myself.

Since 2005, I’ve been a full-time faculty member in the Music Division at the Conservatory. I’ve been a proud member of the Union since the moment the merger was announced. In that time, I’ve contributed in many substantive ways. Here are a few: 

  • For 3 years, I’ve served as the Conservatory’s Music Division Representative.

  • For 2 bargains, I’ve served on the Negotiating Committee.

  • In 2017, I led the team responsible for integrating Conservatory faculty into the Berklee faculty contract.

  • I routinely advise and advocate for faculty, in applications for raises and promotions, in meetings with Administration, and in issues related to workload and service expectations.

Our work isn’t finished, though. There are things to improve. 

  • We need clearer communication between the Union and its members.

  • We need to invest more time in opportunities for collaboration with Administration.

  • We need to commit ourselves to creating an even more robust, proactive Union.

These objectives will benefit us, as a faculty, and ultimately they will impact the students in a positive way, too.

I appreciate your consideration, and I look forward to working alongside Will Silvio, Dave Scott,  Andrew Shryock and Wendy Rolfe in our collective best interest.


Candidates for Vice President, Part-Time Faculty

Wendy Rolfe

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Wendy Rolfe, flute, Professor in the Woodwind Department

One beautiful thing about the Berklee Faculty Union is the way we all work for the benefit of all faculty. I have been continually impressed by the unstinting dedication of my Union colleagues since I joined the Union Executive Committee in 1999.

During my service on the Union Executive Committee, currently as Vice-President, Part-Time Faculty, I’ve been instrumental(!) in many ways. Here are a few:

  1. advocating for people with disabilities, as a co-founder of Berklee’s Americans with Disabilities Act Committee (2003-4) and current member of the Campus Accessibility Committee;

  2. as a long-time Union Negotiating Committee member, advocating for office hours for PT faculty, disability coverage for PT faculty, and lowering the threshold for health benefits for PT faculty;

  3. establishing the Union Communications Committee;

  4. advocating for gender equity.

 

In our future, I plan to work on the following:

  1. improving communications with members, to build support for our efforts and to improve our contract;

  2. working to improve PT contract provisions;

  3. helping PT faculty maintain three-year contracts;

  4. addressing the growing imbalance between PT and FT;

  5. addressing heavy workloads;

  6. listening to and responding to YOUR concerns. 

I have great respect for all who are running for offices – thank you for your interest in serving! In this election, I am supporting candidates for officer positions who know our contract and who have served on contract negotiation teams. They have learned from the ground up, and this experience is vital for leadership positions. In the contested positions, I endorse Will Silvio for President. Will knows our contract better than anyone, having helped innumerable faculty through his work as Union Office Manager, and having served on numerous contract bargain teams. I also endorse David Scott (Executive Vice-President) and Elizabeth Seitz (VP, Full-Time Faculty). 

However you decide to vote, please do vote!


candidates for grievance officer

Prince Charles Alexander

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Dear esteemed faculty,

My name is Charles Alexander aka Prince Charles Alexander. I am a Professor at Berklee, in the Music Production and Engineering department and currently serve as the grievance officer for the Berklee Faculty Union.

This note is to inform you of my intent to run in April, 2019 for the grievance officer position serving the Berklee Faculty Union.

I have been a member of the Union Executive Committee for 11 years and was asked about my interest in the grievance officer position about 9 years ago by the previous grievance officer, Marti Epstein. This position supports faculty that need to grieve actions of their Chairs, Deans and the institution. As a union representative, the grievance officer is also available to accompany faculty, as is federally allowed, to meetings with Chairs, Deans and the institution concerning reappointment, promotion, wage renegotiation, and complaints from students, faculty and the institution.

For the past 8 years, serving as the grievance officer for the faculty union, I have navigated amicable solutions in Step 1 grievances with Chairs, Step 2 grievances with Deans and step 3 grievances with the Provost. Needless to say, the insight provided by this position is invaluable in support of faculty members during difficult conversations with institutional representatives.

As grievance officer, my primary focus has been, and will be, to ensure fair, accurate and respectful representation for our faculty at each step of communication with our institution; because communication is vital to the strength and effectiveness of our union, the college, and our students. I have also committed, and am personally satisfied to add to our weekly meetings, a voice that speaks of a commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for all of our Berklee constituencies.

Over the years, I have also become familiar with contract negotiations between our faculty union and the institution, having served on four bargaining teams, and am steadfastly committed to working on behalf of all faculty to improve our wages, hours and working conditions.

I have been convinced during my time on the Executive Committee that our faculty union, which is one of the strongest faculty unions in the country, is a necessary and vital part of all of our successes within the Berklee umbrella. I am proud to have served as the grievance officer for 9 years and would be honored to serve in that position for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Prince Charles Alexander, MS


candidates for councilor

Utar Artun

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My name is Utar Artun. I am from Ankara, Turkey. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at Berklee Ensemble Department and I am nominated for Councilor-at-Large at Berklee Faculty Union. I am glad to be nominated. I have been at Berklee since 2009. In addition to my teaching duties, I am a composer, arranger, pianist and percussionist as well.

First of all, I am hoping to bring diversity to BFU. I am a part -time International faculty member and I had a chance to experience the hardships of being an international and part- timer.  I am a dedicated researcher and analyst. Especially, on about benefits, financial planning, equity gaps and retirement issues.

As a Councilor-at-Large nominee, my priorities are: 

  • Researching Faculty and Student Equity Gaps

  • Analyzing the Best Benefits Settings and Strategies for Part-Time Faculty Members

  • Analyzing, Researching and Suggesting Personal Financial Planning for all Faculty Members

  • Supporting the Part-Time > Full-Time Faculty Conversions

  • Bringing an International Perspective to BFU

  • Researching for Scholarship Sources and Opportunities for Berklee Students

I kindly send this statement for your consideration.  Once again, I am grateful to be a member of Berklee community, and I enjoy taking on assignments that allow me to contribute to our Berklee Community and Berklee Faculty Union.

Today, I am asking for your vote to help you. Thank you so much for your time and consideration. 

For more information about me, please visit www.utarartun.comor https://www.berklee.edu/people/utar-artun

 

Alicia Bower

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Hello - I'm Dr. Alicia Bower, full-time Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Liberal Arts Department, and a candidate for councilor-at-large for the BFU!

My platform is one of open communication, a willingness to listen, and a deep commitment to working on your behalf so that we can create a more equitable Berklee community!

I am honored to be nominated for this position as I have always been a staunch supporter of collective bargaining, and am proud to share that I attended my first union rally when I was only 6 years old.  

I have a varied background that includes musical composition and performance, residential counseling, data analysis, and advanced training in psychology. 

I have been employed by, and attended, a number of diverse institutions of post-secondary education, ranging from community colleges, private institutions, city colleges, to traditional universities. 

Throughout my training and experience, I have learned that no one individual has a monopoly on reality; rather, each of us contributes a unique perspective. A liberal arts education teaches us to think broadly by considering the multiple perspectives that converge to create our shared reality. 

My unique experiences enable me to: 

  • listen to multiple perspectives,

  • consider and integrate disparate views and positions, 

  • effectively communicate this reality with others, and

  • work with others to change circumstances

It has been my experience that most people are sincerely trying to do the best they can with what they have. It is our honorable and necessary task to work to provide each and every one of us with an equitable foundation, so that in changing "what we have" we can make our "best we can" even better! 

As your councilor-at-large, here is what I can promise to do for you: 

  • attend meetings regularly, 

  • be available to listen to you and hear your concerns, 

  • be open to understanding new information and experiences, and

  • do my best to serve as a bridge connecting your needs with the union and management. 

Again, my platform is one of open communication, a willingness to listen, and a deep commitment to working on your behalf so that we can create the Berklee we want and deserve, for us faculty members, for our students, and for our campus community!


Michael Johnson

My name is Michael Johnson, and I am running for Union Councilor-at-Large. I am an Associate Professor in the CWP department. I have been at Berklee for more than ten years. In terms of my experience with the Berklee Faculty Union, I have been the CWP department representative for the past several years, and as of this year I took over the job of maintaining the BFU website. I have always been a strong believer in unions, and since I came to Berklee, it has been my dream to serve in a more active role.

As a part-timer, I have had the opportunity to teach in CWP, Harmony, EP&D, Ensembles, Music Business, and Music Education. As a result, I have met a number of faculty across all of the divisions. I believe that has given me a unique vantage point, and I am sensitive to the concerns of those beyond my home department.

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The following are some of the concerns I have heard from many of you in the past few years:

  • Increasing the number of part-time to full-time conversions

  • Reducing workloads for full-time faculty

  • Protecting the 3-year contract for part-timers when classes are cancelled

  • Improving work environments, especially in terms of office space

  • Addressing bullying on campus

  • Gender equity

I Believe in the mission of the Berklee Faculty Union. I know they have worked hard for us for many years. I hope I can be a part of that mission, and if you vote for me, I will work hard for you. If you want to learn more about me, here is my website. Thank you for considering me.


Stephanie S. Reich

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As a 10-year Part–Time Professor in Liberal Arts, I am honored to have been nominated for re-election for my Councilor At Large seat; a time-consuming responsibility that I am dedicated to and enjoy tremendously.  I have learned first-hand how helpful it is for PartTime Faculty to be represented on the Executive Committee by a Councilor at Large.

During my first term (2017-19) in this post, I learned a lot about the Union organization and shared my perspectives and ideas with my elected colleagues on the pressing issues of:  faculty  workload, working conditions, grading, scheduling, faculty evaluation/performance review reform, contracts, conversions, gender and pay equity for faculty, campus support for student wellness and universal facility accessibility. I offered several new proposals to the UEC for effective change; specifically, new contract language for a balanced and equitable evaluation review process that is productive and supportive. Institutional Civility remains my priority. This weekend I will be attending a training conference of the National Center for Collective Bargaining in Higher Education to learn how Berklee’s Faculty Union can excel in its ongoing efforts to bring the best results to our membership. 

Equity is paramount. I promote the policy suggested in AFT’s Blueprint for Equity that recognizes long term PT faculty (that have in effect carried FT teaching loads and responsibilities) be given the same  support and economic  security instead of  being vulnerable to last minute schedule changes and lost classes.  I also propose a support system for new FT/PT hires who hit the ground running  without written protocol and information. I propose a Faculty Handbook be created as a vade mecum for Berklee/BoCo new hires and the rest of us. 

Transparency between management/faculty AND transparency between our Union leadership and its large faculty membership must be improved to help us fulfill our roles as educators, mentors to our students and to one another.  Berklee’s Social Capital (faculty) yields economic value and needs to be acknowledged and supported. 

Communication is my priority. The UEC ‘s newly created Communications Committee surveyed  you to identify and prioritize issues for this summer’s contract negotiation. This was a useful first step but I believe that the Union needs to do more. The best way to learn what faculty needs is by building an ongoing regular communications network WITH you and to keep listening to you.

Thank you for your consideration.  

Professional Background:

Public Policy Advisor to Mayor and City Council, Baltimore/Founder, Downtown Baltimore Child Care Consortium/Consultant, Innovations Award Program, Harvard University/Deval Patrick Gubernatorial Campaign on Civic Engagement/PhD Public Policy, Brandeis University

Musical Life:

Classical Violin Studies with Juilliard Faculty/Research and Recordings on Paul Nero, Jazz Violin www.paulneroshotfiddles.com/Vocal studies and recordings with patient /encouraging Berklee colleagues

Liberal Arts Department: Social Science and Music and Society courses:

Urban Sociology  (City Life, City Blues) /

Music and Society ( Blues and Southern Cultures)