Provost Vilas Prabhu clears the air about post-strike extra assignments

Published the week of November 8 in The Snapper.

After the short-lived faculty strike that occurred in mid-October, things have seemed relatively normal —with the exception of some extra assignments.

These assignments have left students to wonder: Why do we have to make up assignments for strike days, but not for snow days?

“We did [things] slightly different because the strike was so well known about,” said Vilas Prabhu, University Provost. “We wanted to make sure that the nationally accredited programs clearly got a picture that those missed days were made up by faculty.”

The extra assignments were not meant to penalize the students, Prabhu said. The work needed to be made up because faculty missed class.

This plan was thought about in advance to the strike, which is why everything went back to normal so quickly, Prabhu said.

“Even before the strike, we were planning,” Prabhu said. “Millersville’s faculty-administration relationship is perhaps the best [in the PASSHE system].”

The extra assignments were submitted by the professors to the deans of their respective schools. Professors were required to speak to the students to ensure that the plan met the needs of the majority of the class.

Over 75 percent of professors have already submitted their plans to the deans, Prabhu said.

“My main concern is always that students needs to have the opportunity to complete the work by the end of the semester,” Prabhu said. “That was the focus even before the faculty strike.”

Overall, the damage caused by the strike was negligible, according to Prabhu.

“The most important thing is…right from the beginning, we were engaged for the impact, trying to mitigate the impact of the strike on student progress,” Prabhu said. “I am very proud of students and faculty in how they behaved during the strike and after the strike.”

The damage caused by the strike was minimal at Millersville; the end of the strike was announced around 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, and everything from Desire2Learn to the faculty emails were up and running almost instantly.

“We did the Millersville way, which is always the good way,” Prabhu said.

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