Board of Advisors
The National Center Board of Advisors is a labor-management board with a balanced membership of higher education administrators and union leaders. The Board meets semi-annually to provide guidance to the Executive Director in the functioning of the National Center, to help maintain a cooperative dialogue among labor representatives and administrators in higher education, and to provide ideas and support for the National Center’s initiatives including an annual conference and a bi-annual directory.
Deborah Bell is Executive Director of the Professional Staff Congress (Local 2334, AFT), a labor union representing 25,000 faculty and professional staff at the City University of New York (CUNY), the nation’s largest urban public university. The union seeks to improve compensation and working conditions for its members and to expand resources for public higher education. She has been at the PSC since 2001, and before that she worked for 23 years for District Council 37, AFSCME, where she served in a variety of positions including Chief Negotiator and Director of Public Policy. She started her career in New York City government as a city planner. In her current job, she is primarily an administrator, but her areas of expertise include collective bargaining, health care and retirement policy, as well as economic policy issues affecting women workers.
Lisa Bonick is the Director of Academic Labor Relations at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her primary responsibilities include serving as a key member on all academic negotiations teams, managing and administering the collective agreements covering over 9,000 academic employees, and managing university-wide grievances. She began her employment at the University in 1993 and has held positions with a number of departments, the most recent as Assistant Dean for Personnel at the School of Arts and Sciences. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the College of New Jersey and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University. She is a member of various organizations, including the Academy of Academic Personnel Administration, College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (NJ-CUPA-HR), and the New Jersey Chapter of the American Council on Education Office of Women in Higher Education (NJ-ACE-NET).
Gail Brooks is the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources at the California State University System. Ms. Brooks provides strategic leadership for the CSU’s comprehensive human resources department. She oversees academic human resources, benefits, campus relations and dispute resolution, collective bargaining, compensation, data research and analysis, policy development, and professional development. Prior to joining the CSU, for seven years Ms. Brooks was the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources at the University of California, Irvine, where she provided strategic leadership to UCI’s comprehensive human resources programs. With a background not only in higher education, but in the private and non-profit sectors as well, she brings together over 25 years of human resources, labor relations and legal expertise. She has a continued commitment to helping CSU achieve its mission through improving the workplace for all employees. Ms. Brooks holds a Juris Doctorate degree as well as a Master of Arts in Industrial Relations from Wayne State University.
Howard Bunsis is the Chair of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Collective Bargaining Congress and Professor of Accounting at Eastern Michigan University. His teaching interests include individual taxation, government and nonprofit accounting, and business law. His research interests include pension and retiree health, as well as state and government performance and financing. As Chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress, Howard oversees 75 collective bargaining units. Howard is both a CPA and an attorney, but not practicing. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; a Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law; an MBA degree from the University of Chicago and a PhD in accounting from the University of Chicago.
William Connellan is the Director of Academic Support Services at the University of Florida. He became the chief bargainer for the University of Florida in 2012, after a 41-year career at Oakland University in Michigan. He is currently responsible for negotiations with graduate assistant and faculty bargaining units. At Oakland University, he served in various administrative capacities, including a two-year stint as acting vice president for academic affairs. He also had a faculty appointment in journalism and visiting scholar appointments at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. His graduate degrees are from the University of Michigan.
Jeffrey Cross is the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Eastern Illinois University. Mr. Cross served in the Teacher Corps in Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky, and graduated from Western Kentucky University with an M.A. degree in 1972. He worked for the Illinois Department of Public Health in Springfield, Illinois, before joining the faculty and administrative staff of Ferris State university in 1976, where he served in a variety of administrative positions including Acting Dean, and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Mr. Cross was hired at Eastern Illinois University as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1998 and continues in that capacity. He was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2004; his dissertation is titled, The Impact of College and University Faculty Collective Bargaining on State Appropriations to Public Higher Education. Mr. Cross is currently a Board Member of the NCSCBHEP and is Co-editor of the Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy (click the link and press the control key).
Brian Duffy is the Acting Associate Provost of Hunter College at the City University of New York (CUNY). Previously, Brian served as Assistant Dean of Fordham College where he taught English in addition to his administrative and advisory work. He returned to academic life at Hunter after a long career in the private sector in financial services. In addition to being Hunter’s representative on the NCSCBHEP Board, Brian assists the President and Provost of Hunter in a broad range of strategic planning activities and projects and in the day-to-day operations of the 6 colleges comprising the Hunter community.
Rudy Fichtenbaum is the President of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and Professor of Economics at Wright State University. His research has dealt primarily with race and sex discrimination, changes in income distribution, the impact of unions on wages and benefits, and the effect of occupational structure on earnings. In 1997-98 he helped organize the faculty at Wright State and has served on the Executive Committee of AAUP-WSU, as the Chief Negotiator, since 1998. Since 1999 he has worked as a consultant analyzing the finances of colleges and universities for AAUP, presenting numerous workshops for faculty on understanding university and college finances, costing contracts and health benefits. He has also served as President of the Ohio Conference of the AAUP and helped lead the fight against SB 5 on campus and throughout Ohio, testifying before House and Senate Committees and speaking at several rallies. Finally, he served as a member of the National Council of AAUP and as Treasurer of the Collective Bargaining Congress of the AAUP, before being elected in 2012 to be the 50th President of the national AAUP.
Jeffrey Frumkin is the Associate Vice Provost and Senior Director, of Academic Human Resources, at the University of Michigan. He has held this position since 1998. Previously Dr. Frumkin worked at the University of California (Office of the President), Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Board Office), Eastern Michigan University (Academic Human Resources) and Michigan State University (Student Affairs). Most of Dr. Frumkin’s career has been in the area of academic administration, focusing on faculty personnel issues including labor relations. Dr. Frumkin is a native of Detroit and earned his Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. from Michigan State. He is currently a Board Member of the NCSCBHEP, and is a past president of the Academy of Academic Personnel Administrators.
Kenneth S. Hawkinson
Kenneth S. Hawkinson is the Provost and Academic Vice President at Western Illinois University. Mr. Hawkinson has held this position since January 1, 2012. His previous position was the associate provost and academic vice president for budget, planning, and personnel. He also served as contract administrator and director of the summer session, provided oversight to the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research, the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Sponsored Projects and the School of Distance Learning and Outreach, as well as performed various other duties.
Steve Hicks is currently the president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), which represents approximately 6,000 faculty and coaches at the 14 state-owned universities in Pennsylvania, and a faculty member at Lock Haven University. He also serves as the co-editor of the National Center’s Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy (click the link and press the control key).
Kimberly R. King
Kimberly R. King is the Delegate to the Council on Affirmative Action, California Faculty Association (CFA)/American Association of University Professors (AAUP)/National Education Association (NEA)/Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and an associated faculty member in Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, where she teaches courses in Community Psychology, Psychology of Gender, Prejudice and Discrimination, Research Methods, and Psychology & African Americans. Her research interests focus on the psychological effects of poverty, race, gender, and class discrimination; intergroup relations between African Americans and Latino/as; and the development of activist orientations and behaviors. Dr. King serves her union, the California Faculty Association, as a member of the Cal State LA Executive Board and as a delegate to the statewide Council on Affirmative Action. Dr. King is also producer and co-host of Beautiful Struggle, a weekly public affairs radio program on Pacifica's KPFK (90.7 FM Los Angeles). Dr. King was born and raised in Oakland, CA, and obtained her BA in Psychology from Yale University and Ph.D. in Psychology at UCLA. She is committed to working for educational quality, access, and equity for students and fair working conditions for faculty and other education workers.
Frederick E. Kowal
Frederick E. Kowal is the President of the United University Professions (UUP) of the State University of New York (SUNY). Running on a platform to make United University Professions a dynamic and progressive force, Frederick E. Kowal of Warnerville, NY won election as UUP President in May 2013. UUP is the nation’s largest public higher education union and represents more than 34,000 academic and professional faculty on the State University of New York’s 29 state-operated campuses. Kowal has been a UUP activist for 20 years on both local and statewide levels. He served as UUP Chapter President at SUNY Cobleskill from 1993 to 2003 and again from 2011 until his election as statewide president. Since 1985, Kowal has also taught political science and Native American studies at Cobleskill.
Theresa Montaño is the President of the National Council for Higher Education of the National Education Association (NEA). She is a professor of Chicano Studies and Education at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), is the voice of the California Faculty Association and the Community College Association on the board of the California Teachers Association. Her many years of experience as a middle and high school teacher in Los Angeles and Denver, CO, gives her a special understanding of issues facing educators in California’s public schools. An active unionist, Montaño was also on the staff of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), where she worked in professional development and as an area representative for nine years. Montaño’s research interests include Teacher Activism, Chicano/a- Latino/a Educational Equity; Critical Multicultural Education; and Bilingual/ELL education. She has published several articles and is a co-editor of Assault on Kids: How Hyperaccountability, Corportization, Deficit Ideologies are Destroying Our Schools with Roberta Ahlquist and Paul Gorski. Her latest book This is What Democracy Looks Like: Critical Projects in Urban Education with William DeLaTorre and Jacqueline Hughes will be released in 2014.
Jim is Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs serving the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. During 2011-12 he served as interim President of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He has over 25 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Oklahoma and Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State University and in the University of Tennessee System. Dr. Moran has been involved in national efforts of Complete College America and Access to Success. Over the past several years he has given presentations focused on college success at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Conference on Higher Education and at conferences hosted by SHEEO – the organization for System Higher Education Executive Offices. He has over 60 publications and nearly 100 presentations primarily focused on creativity, original thinking and motivation.
Jeanine Plottel is the Former Executive Director of the New York State, American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Jeanine Parisier Plottel earned her B.A. degree with honors from Barnard College, her M.A. and Ph. D. degrees with distinction from Columbia University. She has taught at Columbia University, City College, The Juilliard School of Music, Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate School, climbing the academic ladder from Lecturer to Professor. For ten years, she was the elected chair of Hunter’s Department of Romance Languages, the largest college language department in New York City. She is the recipient of an NEH fellowship, several City University faculty research awards, and a CUNY distinguished faculty award. The French government twice honored her for her contribution to French literature and she holds the rank of Officer in the “Ordre National des Palmes Académiques.” She is a trustee of Barnard College and the President of the Maurice I. Parisier Foundation, Inc. She serves on the boards of several organizations including the Society for French-American Cultural Educational Aid (FACE), the NYU Institute of French Studies and the Columbia University Center for French and Francophone Studies and its Maison Française.
Pamela S. Silverblatt
Pamela S. Silverblatt is the Vice Chancellor of Labor Relations at The City University of New York (CUNY). Ms. Silverblatt joined CUNY as Vice Chancellor for Labor Relations in January 2008 after nearly seven years in the New York City Mayor's Office of Labor Relations. Ms. Silverblatt oversees and manages CUNY's Labor Relations with its Faculty and Classified Staff. Prior to joining CUNY, Ms. Silverblatt represented the Mayor in labor relations matters affecting New York City and over 100 labor organizations. Her responsibilities included managing the General Counsel's Office, Negotiators, Supervision of the Budget and Personnel Administration. Ms. Silverblatt was responsible for the management and oversight of the New York City Health Benefits Program as well as the Deferred Compensation Program. Ms. Silverblatt served nearly 12 years at the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), finishing as the Senior Assistant Vice President of Operations with responsibilities for all of the Corporation's labor relations departments, including Labor Relations/Labor Counsel, Workforce Planning and Development, Personnel, Classification and Compensation, Examinations and Certification. Ms. Silverblatt is a graduate of the SUNY Binghamton and received her J.D. Degree from Hofstra University School of Law.
Craig P. Smith
Director of Higher Education, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
Phadra L. Williams
Phadra L. Williams is an Organizational Specialist in the Higher Education Program of the National Education Association (NEA). Phadra began her work with the National Education by serving as Alabama’s student state president of NEA. After finishing her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Alabama State University, Phadra worked as a K-12 teacher and track coach for three years. After successfully graduating from the NEA Affirmative Action Program in 2000, Phadra represented K-12, community college and technical college members in Alabama. In 2004, Phadra was promoted to organizational specialist at the National Education Association. Over the past nine years, Phadra’s work has focused on higher ed organizing, training and development, coordination of NEA Higher Education Emerging Leaders Academy, UniServ assessments, local release time presidents’ training and serving as staff liaison to national, internal and external committees. Phadra holds an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership.
Liesl K. Zwicklbauer
Liesl K. Zwicklbauer is the Director of Employee Relations at the State University of New York (SUNY). Liesl received her bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College, and law degree from Albany Law School, Union University. She joined the State University of New York, the nation’s largest public university system, after 7 years of private practice focusing on public sector labor law. Her office represents the University in its relations with unionized faculty and staff (60,000 employees), serving 29 campuses and administering 9 collective bargaining agreements. Liesl concentrates on faculty and professional staff issues, managing and administering the collective bargaining agreement covering over 35,000 faculty and professional staff, representing the Chancellor in both the contract and disciplinary grievance process, and providing technical and strategic advice to campus administrators. Liesl has been a University representative on the State’s team for negotiations with the faculty and professional employee bargaining unit, represented by United University Professions, and the Graduate Student Employees Union, represented by the Communication Workers of America.