Annual Conference

The AAUP’s Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education, held June 8–11, 2011, in Washington, DC, featured four days of presentations on pressing issues in higher education, along with expert-led workshops, keynote addresses, and AAUP annual meeting business sessions. Major threads at the conference included challenges to academic freedom in the United States and abroad; faculty work and workplace issues; pros and cons of online education; contingent faculty issues; diversity, equality, and discrimination; strategic approaches to furloughs, cutbacks, and salary freezes; the role of faculty members in institutional decision making; faculty and the media; and pedagogy.

In addition to presentations, the conference included AAUP-sponsored workshops focused on understanding institutional financial information, making faculty senates effective, and crafting effective faculty handbooks.

The Friday luncheon address was delivered by Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University who has come under attack from Virginia’s attorney general and from conservative groups seeking records related to Mann’s work at the University of Virginia, his former employer. Among the broad range of records sought are e-mail exchanges dating back to 1999 between Mann and his colleagues (see story on page 4). Mann spoke about his experience in being swept up in the political debate over climate research and about the threats posed by efforts to create the next trumped-up “climategate” scandal and intimidate other climate researchers.

The Saturday luncheon featured a recognition of fifty-year members of the AAUP and the presentation of the Iris Molotsky Award (see below) as well as an address by Paul Kniest, the policy and research coordinator at the National Tertiary Education Union in Australia. Kniest spoke about shared challenges facing US and Australian higher education, including a decline in public funding, increasing use of contingent or casual labor, a rise in the for-profit higher education industry, barriers to student access, and disputes over intellectual property.

The Saturday night banquet included the presentation of the Ralph S. Brown Award (see below) and an address on “Battling for Academic Freedom” by Judy Ancel of the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and Don Giljum of the University of Missouri, Saint Louis. Ancel and Giljum described their experiences as targets of right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart, who recently released selectively edited videos of a labor studies course they co-taught; the videos misrepresented their views and led to calls for the professors’ dismissal. Ancel and Giljum, who repeatedly expressed their appreciation for the AAUP’s assistance, received a standing ovation.

Capitol Hill Day

This year, about a hundred AAUP members descended on Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress about current legislation affecting higher education. AAUP members met with legislators and staffers from twenty-two states and the District of Columbia to discuss the Association’s legislative priorities. This year’s discussions centered on protecting scientific research from politically motivated attacks, strengthening regulatory frameworks for federal funding of higher education, and ensuring equal access to higher education for all students.

Having faculty, academic staff, and students lobby members of Congress directly is one of the most effective approaches to higher education advocacy. AAUP members were often received not just as constituents but as influential members of their communities and experts on higher education.

This year’s Capitol Hill Day was a success because AAUP members were able both to push for support of legislation that will improve the profession and to engage in legislative advocacy on a federal level that will strengthen advocacy efforts on the chapter and conference levels.

Representative Joe Courtney, of Connecticut’s second district, received this year’s Henry T. Yost Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership on behalf of higher education. In conferring the award, the AAUP’s Committee on Government Relations highlighted his cosponsorship of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R. 3221) and his key role in passing 2007’s College Cost Reduction and Access Act (H.R. 4137). Together, these pieces of legislation brought about the largest single investment in Pell Grants, community colleges, and minority-serving institutions in history. Courtney has consistently worked to improve higher education as a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and he has been at the forefront of efforts to promote democracy and human and civil rights.

Collective Bargaining

Delegates to the Collective Bargaining Congress, an organization of AAUP collective bargaining chapters, held elections for five officer and executive committee positions. The results were as follows: Howard Bunsis (Eastern Michigan University) was re-elected as chair, Jason Jones (Central Connecticut State University) was elected as vice chair, Paul W. Davis (Cincinnati State Technical and Community College) was re-elected as member at large, and James C. Davis (Brooklyn College, City University of New York) and Donna Selman (Eastern Michigan University) were elected as members at large.

Howard Bunsis and Stephen Aby and David Witt (both of the University of Akron) received the Marilyn Sternberg Award, which recognizes AAUP members who best demonstrate concern for human rights, courage, persistence, political foresight, imagination, and collective bargaining skills.

State Conferences

Delegates to the Assembly of State Conferences, which comprises the AAUP’s state-level organizations, re-elected Donna Potts (Kansas State University) as chair, Purificación Martínez (East Carolina University) as vice chair, and Jeffrey Kraus (Wagner College) as a member at large of the ASC executive committee.

Three state conferences and one chapter won awards for their newsletters: the Connecticut conference and the Nevada conference received awards for outstanding tabloid-style conference newsletter and the New York conference won in the conventional style category. The Fairfield University chapter won the Outstanding Chapter Newsletter Award.

Hopper Travel Awards, given to individuals attending their first annual meeting to help cover travel expenses, went to Robin Parent (Utah State University), James Klein (Del Mar College), and David Carrell (Langston University).

Awards were made in a contest that ended April 1 to the conferences and chapters that had the highest numbers of new members in absolute numbers, as a percentage of the faculty at their institutions, and by percentage growth. The winners, which were announced at the ASC meeting, are as follows: Bowling Green State University (88 new members), Stetson University (51), and the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities (26) were the top three chapters by numbers; Ohio (103 new members), Texas (69), and Pennsylvania (61) were the top three conferences by numbers; Stetson University (23 percent), Bowling Green State University (11 percent), and Lesley University (8 percent) were the top three chapters in new members as a percentage of the faculty; and Ohio (15 percent), Texas (12 percent), and Colorado (11 percent) were the top conferences by percentage growth.

Annual Meeting

Concurrent with the conference was the annual meeting plenary, at which AAUP members conduct Association business, including approving dues rates and making changes to the AAUP’s list of censured administrations. The annual meeting approved a new lifetime membership category at the plenary session. The meeting of the AAUP also passed a resolution submitted by a delegate that “expresses its profound appreciation for the accomplishments of Gary Rhoades as general secretary of [the] AAUP” and notes that “Gary has demonstrated a consistent, firm, and stalwart commitment to the principles of academic freedom and shared governance.”

Censure and Sanction

Delegates to the Ninety-sixth Annual Meeting voted on June 11 to place Bethune-Cookman University on the AAUP’s list of censured administrations. In addition, the annual meeting voted to remove censure from the administrations of the University of New Orleans and Loyola University New Orleans. Censure by the AAUP informs the academic community that the administration of an institution has not adhered to the generally recognized principles of academic freedom and tenure jointly formulated by the AAUP and the Association of American Colleges and Universities and endorsed by more than two hundred professional and educational organizations. With these actions, forty-nine institutions are now on the censure list.

In addition, the delegates voted to sanction Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Idaho State University. Institutions are sanctioned for infringement of governance standards after AAUP investigations reveal serious departures from generally accepted standards of college and university government endorsed by the AAUP.

The removal of censure in the case of the two New Orleans institutions brings to a close an AAUP endeavor that began in 2006. As a response to Hurricane Katrina, the AAUP investigated five New Orleans universities for having taken actions that threatened academic freedom. Four were placed on censure by the 2007 annual meeting, and since then they have taken steps to remedy the situation and have been taken off the censure list. The University of New Orleans and Loyola University New Orleans were the last two of these institutions still on the censure list, and their removal marks the end of this process nearly six years after it began.

Ralph S. Brown Award

The Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance was presented at the Saturday night banquet to Anthony S. Tricoli, president of Georgia Perimeter College. He was chosen unanimously for this award based on his recent work at Georgia Perimeter, where he consistently demonstrated a commitment to shared governance, earned the faculty’s respect, and, in the words of one faculty member, “reinvigorated our sense of community and mission.” The Brown Award was established in 1998 and is given “in recognition of an outstanding contribution to shared governance” in memory of former AAUP president and general counsel Ralph S. Brown.

Iris Molotsky Award

The Iris Molotsky Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education was given to Beryl Lieff Benderly for her piece “The Real Science Gap,” published in Miller-McCune magazine. The article showed that, contrary to what is often claimed, the United States does not have a “science gap” of young researchers compared to other countries. Rather, we have many young scientists who are working for low pay in universities where they stand little chance of getting hired as faculty members.

Benderly’s article is available online at http://www.miller-mccune.com/science/the-real-science-gap-16191/.

Chapter Awards

Two chapters received Beatrice G. Konheim Awards, which recognize chapters for outstanding achievement in advancing academic freedom and other Association objectives. The awards help chapters send delegates to the AAUP’s annual meeting. This year’s awardees were the chapters from Del Mar College and Missouri Southern State University.

Fifty-Year Members

William M. Alexander
Saint Andrews Presbyterian College

Laird H. Barber
University of Minnesota–Morris

Otto Bergmann
George Washington University

James M. Bergquist
Villanova University

Janet Bower-Bachelet
New Jersey City University

Fred J. Carrier
Villanova University

Edward S. Cassedy
Polytechnic University

Winberg Chai
University of Wyoming

Eileen Z. Cohen
Saint Joseph’s University

Morrel H. Cohen
Bridgewater, NJ

Richard C. Cortner
University of Arizona

Terence Dewsnap
Bard College

George S. Diamond
Moravian College

Grace B. Dyrud
Augsburg College

Donald H. Foster
University of Cincinnati

Leo A. Goodman
University of California, Berkeley

Martin H. Graham
University of California, Berkeley

Mark A. Heald
Swarthmore College

Olga K. Heisler
New York University

Charles J. Herber
George Washington University

Roger D. Johnson
Georgia Institute of Technology

David Lagunoff
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

Donald S. Lee
Tulane University

Richard Levins
Harvard University

Robert A. Lorr
Iowa State University

Harry Lustig
City University of New York City College

Paul Mandelstam
University of Kentucky

George M. Martin
University of Washington

William B. Martin
Lake Forest College

Susan H. May
Longwood University

Frank J. Mitchell
Troy University

Richard S. Neher
University of Idaho

Martin Oppenheimer
University of Pennsylvania

Charles D. Parsons
Harvard University

Jean A. Perkins
Swarthmore College

Benjamin A. Petty
Southern Methodist University

Martin Pope
New York University

Christopher Pottle
Cornell University

George W. Pugh
Louisiana State University

Kurt Reibel
Ohio State University

Harry M. Ritchie
Santa Fe, NM

Arthur R. Robinson
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Raymond H. Rolwing
University of Cincinnati

Jack Schneps
Tufts University

George C. Schoolfield
Yale University

Richard D. Schwartz
Yale University

William O. Scott
University of Kansas

Mary C. Sengstock
Wayne State University

Gerard V. Smith
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Joseph L. Snider
Southwest Harbor, ME

John R. Stemen
Gettysburg College

Donald L. Vives
Auburn University

Walter Wolf
University of Southern California

Charles Yanofsky
Stanford University

Stephen A. Zeff
Rice University

Alice J. Zimring
Roosevelt University

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