FAIRBORN, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Wright State University President Cheryl Schrader is speaking out for the first time about a potential faculty strike.
The union representing faculty members, American Association of University Professors WSU Chapter, voted Monday to go on strike next Tuesday, accusing the university of imposing an unfair labor contract.
"The university and AAUP have come to what's called ultimate impasse," she said.
Since her first day in office, Schrader said she's been working to avoid the looming faculty strike, but she said university deans and chairs have been planning in case professors don't show up to teach.
“There may be some changes in whether there are sections combined or an online course but they're looking to make sure students are well served," she said.
The biggest change of course will be in who is teaching a course.
Schrader said the university will be tapping into non-striking faculty and even administration to help fill the gaps.
"Our faculty union is about 560 faculty members," she said. "We have about 1,700 faculty across the university and we have about 3,000 employees. So yes indeed, there will be people on campus that are pitching in. I'm going to help us meet the obligation of the university by heading into the classroom myself."
However, the university is also trying to make sure students still head into the classroom if there's a strike, tweeting out last night that said, "Students who use financial aid must attend classes and submit their class work to keep their financial aid. This includes classes during a faculty strike."
Tuesday morning, a union spokesperson appeared on ABC 22/FOX 45's morning show criticizing the university for the tweet.
“We're just appalled by that. I don't even know what to say about that but we are doing everything we can,” Wright State University Union Professor Noeleen Mcllvenna said.
Schrader said financial aid has federal guidelines that the university needs to follow whether or not there is a strike, and that the priority right now is the students.
“We expect to be operating as usual and don't expect them to have any delay or change in their ability to progress toward a degree and that's our firm commitment or priority,” Schrader said
If there is a strike, it will start at 8 a.m. next Tuesday. If students wanted to withdraw, they would have three days, or until Friday, to do that to still receive a full refund.
ABC 22/FOX 45 reached out to the Department of Education to find out more about how that would impact their financial aid.