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Ferris State University faculty goes on strike, Dowagiac branch not affected

DOWAGIAC, Mich. – Ferris State University at the Southwestern Michigan College branch was not affected by faculty strikes in Big Rapids Monday.

According to Lisa Topping, FSU’s Southwest Regional Director, said classes will go on as usual in Dowagiac.

Dozens of Ferris State University faculty members took to a picket line as they went on strike for the first day of fall semester classes.

Striking tenured teachers at the university in Big Rapids chanted "No contract, no work" while lining a sidewalk Monday. The strike followed a Sunday negotiating session that didn't result in a new contract agreement with the Ferris Faculty Association, which represents some 450 full-time faculty members.

The 14,000-student school says on its website that some professors might not be present for classes but that students should attend as scheduled.

Faculty union President Charles Bacon tells The Detroit News that he's frustrated with lack of progress. The two sides are split over pay increases.

School spokeswoman Michelle Rasmussen says declining enrollment has reduced tuition revenue.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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