Shhh… BGSU faculty stage silent sit-in

BGSU faculty members
make their feelings known over their lack of a contract during a BGSU board of trustees meeting Friday
afternoon. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

Faculty members staged a mostly silent protest in their quest for a collective bargaining contract during
Bowling Green State University’s Board of Trustees meeting Friday afternoon.
The group of more than 100 walked into the room about 15 minutes before the meeting started, carrying
signs of various sizes. Most the signs stayed in the air the entire 45 minutes the group remained.
Earlier the group held a "grade-in" outside the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
The only exceptions to quiet were once when 1972 Olympic Gold Medalist Dave Wottle and his wife Jan were
introduced, and when he spoke briefly.
"Fame is fleeting," Wottle said. "There were signs noting that Bowling Green was the
Olympic home of Dave Wottle. They disappeared after about two years. One is in the back of my garage.
One thing that is not fleeting is the education I got at Bowling Green."
At the end of the meeting the board went into executive session, with one of its topics being
negotiations. The board later adjourned without taking action.
No board member commented on the faculty protest, sticking with the university’s policy of not commenting
until the contract is finished.
Dr. Dave Jackson, president of the Bowling Green Faculty Union Association, said he was happy with the
turnout.
"We wanted to send a strong message that the university’s main interest is education. The president
(Mary Ellen Mazey) mentioned the U.S. News and World Report ranking but failed to mention that the
university has slipped out of the top 100. A large portion of that (rating) is based on faculty
investment. We don’t think that has gone unnoticed," Jackson said.
"We love BGSU. Many of those at the grade-in raised their hands at the grade-in when I asked how
many had their undergraduate or graduate degree from the university. Even I got my master’s at BG. We’re
not a bunch of outside agitators. We have committed ourselves to BGSU and we want it to thrive and it
can."
Jackson said the reaction to Wottle was totally spontaneous. "These are BG people and he’s a BG
guy."