Hours after reaching a tentative contract agreement with university officials last Thursday, Temple University faculty members called for the ouster of President Peter Liacouras. The faculty senate voted 116-1 last Thursday to support a resolution calling for the removal of Liacouras after the second faculty strike in four years. The resolution will be mailed this week to 1391 faculty members, who will then vote on the non-binding proposal. Throughout the 29-day faculty walkout earlier this semester, Temple students and faculty members chastised Liacouras for his "lack of commitment to education" and a lack of interaction with faculty. In daily protests during the strike, students burned Liacouras in effigy chanting "Peter, Peter tuition eater." Liacouras, who was promoted to university president in 1982 after serving 10 years as Temple Law School Dean, said last week that he did not consider the resolution a personal attack. "When passions run high, it is better to have the criticism directed at the president, than one faculty member to another," he said. Richard Fox, chairman of the Temple board of trustees called the motion for Liacouras' removal "inappropriate," adding that the board supports the president. The faculty union and administrators reached an agreement on a tentative contract after seven months of "on-and-off" negotiations and the 29-day faculty strike. Faculty members will vote this Thursday on the proposed contract which, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, calls for across-the-board five-percent salary increases in each of the next five years, plus an increase of one percent in January 1992 and two percent in January 1994. An annual health insurance contribution, one of the major points of contention between the two sides during negotiations, will remain at $260, but will be refunded if health-care costs do not rise more than six percent per year. The agreement also includes pay for teachers making up classes during winter break that were canceled by the strike. The semester was extended until January 15 to make up class time lost during the strike. Arthur Hochner, the Temple faculty union president, said last week that he hopes the faculty will approve the proposed contract. Temple faculty went on strike September 4, the first day of classes, to protest a university-proposed contract. The proposal fell short of union demands for a seven percent pay increase and no health copayment. On October 3, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Samuel Lehrer ordered striking Temple faculty members back to the classroom, ending the 29-day walkout. Lehrer issued the injunction saying that the walkout had damaged education for about 29,000 students and also harmed the public. The walkout left over 23,000 students without at least one class and 6000 students with no classes. The strike also led to daily protests at the North Philadelphia campus, including blockades of Broad Street and a sit-in next to Liacouras' office. More than 1800 students withdrew from the university during the strike. The Associated Press contributed to this storyComments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.