by Alicia Schaeffer, Dearborn
Lecturers and allies protested the University of Michigan-Dearborn ELB groundbreaking to tell the administration that its priorities are hurting the faculty who teach the majority of classes on campus as well as students.
During contract negotiations, management has told LEO that UM-Dearborn doesn’t have the money to pay for higher salaries and equity adjustments, and the surplus in Ann Arbor will not be distributed to fund salary increases on Dearborn and Flint. Yet, the administration has allocated tens of millions of dollars to fund construction projects in recent years, like the $90 million Engineering Laboratory Building (ELB) Project.
On Friday, Lecturers, Students, and Allies marched on the Dearborn campus to the ceremony site next to the Chancellor’s Pond.
At first, Security told Lecs and Allies to move, and then, after the group stayed put, refused to start the ceremony until the chanting quieted down. Holding LEO signs high and passing out leaflets, the protesters chanted loudly between speeches, reminding those in the crowd and the press that “the Leaders and the Best, Must Respect the Lecs!”
Chancellor Little was one of the speakers, and Provost Kate Davy sat in the audience, alongside alumni, local representatives, corporate sponsors, and administration.
UM-D alum and LEO ally State Senator David Knezek spoke during the ceremony. Lecs and allies chanted his name as he walked to the podium to thank him for his support. State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, also a UM alum (Dearborn & Ann Arbor) and LEO ally, was in the audience and spoke with Lecs afterward to offer his continued support.