Archive for United University Professions

Candidate Statements — Chapter Election 2017

You should receive a ballot for our 2017 Chapter election in the mail at your home address sometime during the week of March 15-22. The list below represents those whose names will appear on the ballot, and others who have indicated an interest to run as write-in candidates for various positions. If no candidate statement is provided, none was provided by the candidate.

Ballots are due back to UUP Central no later than April 12, in order to be counted for the election.

President and Delegate

Beth E. Wilson
Art History
Active member

It has been my great pleasure and privilege to serve as your UUP Chapter President for the past two years. In that time, I have endeavored to energize and activate our chapter, and to provide responsive representation for all the members of our bargaining unit on both an individual basis, and in collective venues such as labor-management meetings with the administration. This first term has presented a number of challenges (and a learning curve) in the wide array of issues and procedures facing any chapter president; I that I’ve found my feet in the process, and I would love to have the opportunity to continue in this role with the knowledge base and the experience I’ve developed over the last two years. I would like to thank all the dedicated chapter officers, delegates, and volunteers who have contributed to the successes we’ve had, and I do hope we will all continue pulling together to improve the quality of our working lives collectively, IN UNION. In order to continue playing my part in this effort, I ask for your vote in this chapter election.

Vice-President for Academics and Delegate

Gowri Parameswaran

Vice-President for Professionals and Delegate

Kevin Saunders


Linda Suszczynski
Assistant Director Accounting Services
Active member

I have been the Assistant Director, Accounting Services for the New Paltz Campus since 2011.  Prior to coming to New Paltz, I held accounting and internal audit positions in Westchester County Government and several private sector employers in Westchester County.  I have been a professional Accountant since 2005.  I am a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA).

Prior to my career in accounting, I was employed as an executive secretary for over 18 years.  I am a graduate of Berkeley College, Intensive Secretarial Diploma, Mercy College, B.S. Business Administration, and University of Phoenix, MBA, Accounting.

I have been working with Beth Wilson and the New Paltz Executive Committee taking minutes at Executive Committee meetings and Labor Management meetings since the Fall 2016 semester.  I look forward to continuing to serve as your Chapter Secretary.


Douglas Koop

Adjunct Lecturer

Physics and Engineering

Active member

So why am I again soliciting your vote for Treasurer and Delegate of the New Paltz Chapter of the UUP? Because I’m grateful to former UUP officers who struggled to provide adjuncts and their families with medical benefits upon reaching the teaching threshold of two courses each semester. Thank you! For this benefit, I will gladly serve another two-year term as Treasurer and Delegate. I need your vote! Thanks.

Grievance Officer

Peter D.G. Brown
Distinguished Service Professor of German Emeritus
Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
Retired member

I am a candidate for Grievance Officer, a position to which I was first elected two years ago. Prior to that, I served as Chapter President from 2011 to 2015, and before that for six years as Vice President for Academics. If I am reelected Grievance Officer, I will continue to provide information, support and vigorous representation to all members, whether they are Professionals or Academics, full-timers or adjuncts. Most of my work is of a sensitive and confidential nature. Members who have sought my assistance know that I try to be there for them 24/7. I typically assemble a team of chapter leaders to help individual members who may have issues with their supervisors, with colleagues, the College administration or the campus police. In addition to myself, such a team usually consists of our seasoned NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist, Bill Capowski, and either the Vice President for Academics or Professionals. In addition to my work with UUP and four decades of teaching at the College, I am a trained and certified mediator with the Ulster County Dispute Resolution Center. I regularly work as an unpaid volunteer mediator in small claims courts, as well as in divorce cases involving custody and visitation. If elected for another term as your Grievance Officer, I would look forward to working with members to defend their union rights under the Agreement between UUP and NYS (the “contract’) and to make sure they are treated fairly in their workplace here at the College.

Officer for Contingents

Faheem Haider
Art Studio
Active member

I have had the great privilege of being an active participant in higher education at SUNY New Paltz, first as a student in the Art Department for 2 years, and now, and for the last three years, as an adjunct lecturer in Art, and Art History departments. I have seen that well-resourced, fairly compensated teaching staff, valued for their work bring novel engagements into the class room. They teach not just from books, but from the world, and they invite that larger world into the teaching studio. They strive to deliver their knowledge and passion for learning to students not just as a transmission of facts but as tutelage in making in ways that outstrip any account of value indexed by pay packages, Instructors given the dignity of fair wages and decent work space seek to fit the dignity they are rightly owed. I have also seen, and have sometimes felt, the exhaustion that fells instructors burdened by heavy class-loads, unfair remuneration for the work done, unsuitable, ill-equipped office spaces. As more universities float their student bodies on contingent labor, this unfair treatment of cannot and should not continue. I will advocate for fair treatment of contingent staff, and that they become more seamlessly woven into the academic community at SUNY New Paltz. I will advocate for fair pay packages, and that adjunct voices be leveraged more powerfully not just within the union, but across the local campus community, and across the SUNY system at large.

Officer for Retirees

Abigail Robin (write-in)
English Dept. Composition Program, Women’s Studies, EOP tutor, Host for ON CAMPUS show
Retired member
Before I leave this planet, I want to know that I helped to make the world a more humane and compassionate place. Unions are the life-blood of a civil and civically-minded society. Equity is absolutely necessary in a democracy, and UNIONS offer that opportunity.

Academic Delegates


Peter D.G. Brown
Distinguished Service Professor of German Emeritus
Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures
Retired member

I am seeking reelection as Academic Delegate. For the past twelve years, I have served the union as delegate and voting member of the UUP New Paltz chapter’s Executive Committee (see also my nominee statement for the position of Grievance Officer). Union work is hardly glamorous. It is often tedious and time-consuming. It can also be rewarding in a non-material way, especially when successfully advocating for our overworked and underpaid members. Public employee unions around the country are under siege. Academic unions in particular are widely criticized as a root cause of our economic ills. Unions fought long and hard to secure tenure, permanent employment for professionals, superior health insurance and pension plans—all of which are now in danger of being eliminated by well-organized and generously-funded groups around the country. If elected, I will continue to fight vigorously for improved working conditions and to preserve academic freedom.


Karl Bryant (write-in)
Alexandra Cox (write-in)


Frantz Folmer-Andersen
Associate Professor
Department of Chemistry
Active member

As an Academic Delegate, I will strongly advocate for SUNY New Paltz and public higher education more generally. To the best of my ability, I will encourage the investment of resources necessary to support outstanding academic programs without excessive cost to students; and to cultivate an environment that fosters independent thought, creativity, free expression, and exposure to diverse perspectives. I am inclined to promote the substantial intrinsic value of an undergraduate liberal arts education as a means of elucidating relationships between various modes of human thought and the structure, achievements, and problems of our modern, global society. I believe such an emphasis is urgently needed to counter prevalent views of higher education as primarily being a source of vocational training and/or a path towards career advancement.


Colleen Lougen Grazier
Associate Librarian
Sojourner Truth Library
Active member

My primary reason for seeking to be a delegate is to advocate for our members on such issues as fair and equitable wages, transparency, labor/management coordination, and women employees’ concerns. If elected, this will be my first experience serving as a union delegate and I hope to learn more about the concerns and issues that exist on our campus. I have been a member of UUP for 12 years and served as the UUP representative for the Library for the last 3 years. I worked previously at a private college with no union and so I know that an active union and a strong faculty governance are critical. It is a time of challenges for higher education and I will advocate for a fair and effective working environment to meet those challenges.


Faheem Haider
Douglas Koop
F Glenn McNitt
Stephen Pampinella
Vanessa Plumly
Susan Puretz


Carol Rietsma
Associate Professor, Emerita
Retired member

I am running for re-election as an academic delegate for the New Paltz Chapter of UUP. As a (hard) scientist on the Executive Committee at the New Paltz Chapter, I represent the views of the scientific community. I currently serve on the state-wide Women’s Rights & Concerns Committee representing the views of women educators and also each spring advocate for educators at SUNY colleges and universities with Albany legislators. I would like to continue to represent you.


Abigail Robin
English Dept. Composition Program, Women’s Studies, EOP tutor, Host for ON CAMPUS show
Retired member

Before I leave this planet, I want to know that I helped to make the world a more humane and compassionate place.  Unions are the life-blood of a civil and civically-minded society. Equity is absolutely necessary in a democracy, and  UNIONS offer that opportunity.


Professional Delegates


Nancy Cooney
Academic Department Support
Academic Computing
Active member
I am a SUNY New Paltz graduate and I have been working here for 16 years. I am the union department Rep for Academic Computing and Computer Services. I am interested in learning more and being more involved in the union. I hope you vote for me for Professional delegate.
Donna Goodman
Corporate/Foundation Relations Officer
Department of Development
Retired member

I am seeking my eighth term as professional delegate. I represent UUP in the region’s union movement, as delegate and trustee of the Central Labor Council, and as delegate and vice president of the Area Labor Federation. I contribute articles to the Bullhorn on labor issues. As co-chair of the statewide Women’s Rights and Concerns Committee, I organize activities on gender equality, academic freedom, combatting sexual violence, and family leave. My solidarity activities include marching in the NYC Labor Day parade, speaking at local labor rallies, walking picket lines with CWA and IBEW Verizon strikers, and participating in the post-inauguration Women’s March. I attended the statewide AFL-CIO convention, where we voted on policies for the coming year. I take part in labor walks and rallies for labor-supported candidates, and the Labor Federation’s candidate interviews. I am proud to serve as your delegate and will continue to work for your rights and to build UUP.


Wayne Lempka
Michael Malloy


Amanda Merritt
Assistant to Dean
School of Education
Active member

I am asking for your vote for my second term as a delegate for our professional faculty members. On our campus, professional faculty continue to shoulder significant responsibility, often unrecognized, demonstrating the highest standards of care for our students. Thanks to our chapter leadership, we are not forgotten, but we need to be vigilant and stand against attempts to conflate our working conditions with those of other valued unions on campus. Educating our new members about the terms of our contract, for example, continues to be crucial.

I’ve been active in our Teacher Education Task Force, working with others to protect the integrity of our programs as we face an upcoming teacher shortage after years of under-enrollment. UUP has been a buffer between our teacher candidates and those who exploit them by charging outrageous sums for questionable evaluations. I would be proud to continue that work.

I’m interrupting my own commercial here to urge you to call your US Congressperson and ask for votes of NO against HR 785 (National Right to Work, i.e. no unions) and HR 610 (Vouchers for Public Education).

Thank you! I hope I have earned your vote.

Check out more from the Labor Day Parade!

UUP President, Beth Wilson, fixes Mother Jones for the parade

UUP President, Beth Wilson, fixes Mother Jones for the parade

Amy Trompetter, the maker of the Mother Jones puppet, along with NP student Nolan

Amy Trompetter, the maker of the Mother Jones puppet, along with NP student Nolan

The UUP procession

The UUP procession

Mother Jones in the parade

Mother Jones in the parade

Along with the Mother Jones puppet, New Paltz UUP members brought bread and roses signage

Along with the Mother Jones puppet, New Paltz UUP members brought bread and roses signage

"State support for SUNY"

“State support for SUNY”


Fall Chapter Meetings Annoucement

Join us for our chapter meetings at the Terrace!

WHEN: Monday, October 12, 2016

TIME: 12 pm to 1:30 pm

WHERE: The Terrace

(Lunch will be served)


    WHEN: Thursday, October 20, 2016

TIME: 4:30pm to 6:00pm

WHERE: The Terrace

(Beer/Wine and Hot/Cold hors d’oeuvres will be served)


IDA Award Announcement!




We have recently learned that although the 2009-2016 Agreement between the State and UUP expired on July 2, 2016, funding for all NYS/UUP Joint Labor-Management Committees’ programs is extended through March 31, 2017. This means we will have one final round of IDA grants to make, for activities taking place between those two dates.

Keep your eyes open for more information regarding the application process, deadlines, etc. soon!!