From the Editor: The Economy, Baseball Season, and Other Key Issues

By Paula M. Krebs

The current economic crisis is hitting higher education where it hurts, and this issue features three reactions to the cuts in different states. Florida has experienced dramatic reductions in state funding for higher education, and Neil Jumonville fills us in on how his faculty union finds itself allied with the campus administration at Florida State University in opposition to a common foe—the Florida legislature. Cathy Wilson talks about the very real human costs of education layoffs in a small community in Utah. And Gary E. Starr, Roderick Henry, and Jeff Kolnick describe the ins and outs of the recent contract negotiations of the faculty of the Minnesota state universities. The creative strategies of Minnesota’s Inter Faculty Organization can help us all in these troubled times.

Summer is the time for extra teaching for some and archival and lab research for others, but for me it’s also, and equally importantly, baseball season. That’s why I was especially glad to be able to publish R. E. Johnson’s “But Can You Hit?”—an extended comparison of academe to baseball. And why not pair it with something from the two most important researchers on the topic of women and sport in the United States? R. Vivian Acosta and Linda Jean Carpenter have spent their careers investigating the effects of Title IX, and they bring us up to date in their contribution to this issue.

Francesca Dominici and her co-investigators present sobering findings about women and leadership in higher education. It appears that the problems stem not from the pipeline to leadership positions for women but rather from the characteristics of high-level administrative jobs, the lack of reward and recognition in those jobs, and the essentially sexist nature of informal networking in higher education administration.

Wendy F. Weiner gives us a primer on the terms you need to know if you want to establish a genuine culture of assessment at your institution. James Monks then presents the findings of a study of who actually constitutes the part-time faculty in higher education, and Ian Barnard follows up with a personal history of his own relations with the concept of academic freedom.

Take a look, as well, at the issue’s columns and book reviews. And don’t miss this issue’s profile of the Fairfield University AAUP chapter—the first in a new series of chapter profiles that will highlight the collective work of AAUP members on campuses across the country. Over two decades, Fairfield’s AAUP chapter has built a strong base of members who are committed to professional standards and AAUP principles, and faculty everywhere can learn from the chapter’s strategies and successes. We want to hear your chapter’s story, too—write to Gwendolyn Bradley if you’d like to see your chapter profiled in Academe.

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