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New COVID-19 Pandemic Resources

By Michael Ferguson

The AAUP continues to develop resources addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on higher education.

In June, the AAUP’s Committee on College and University Governance issued a new statement, “Principles of Academic Governance during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” affirming the principles of academic governance in the face of growing concern over unilateral actions taken by governing boards and administrations. The statement “calls upon administrations and governing boards, in demonstrated commitment to principles of shared governance, to maintain transparency, engage in ‘joint effort,’ and honor the faculty’s decision-making responsibility for academic and faculty personnel matters as the most effective means of weathering the current crisis.”

In August, the Association’s Committee on Contingency and the Profession issued a statement on contingent faculty during the pandemic. This statement provides recommendations and resources addressing issues such as impact bargaining, paid sick leave, job security, unemployment benefits, and intellectual property rights.

Shortly before the start of the fall semester, the Department of Organizing and Services introduced three new resources in a COVID-19 chapter toolkit: a recorded roundtable discussion on approaches to remote organizing, a best-practices guide for dealing with financial exigency, and a summary of some of the effects of COVID-19 on higher education that collective bargaining chapters may want to address in negotiations. These detailed resources can help AAUP members push back against damaging actions taken by administrations during the pandemic.

The AAUP also recently updated its guidance on reopening campuses for our chapters, faculty governance bodies, and administrations. This resource, originally published in May, addresses health and safety concerns as well as concerns about how best to achieve the academic mission both during the pandemic and in its aftermath.

These statements and other useful resources, including examples of AAUP chapter actions and guidance from other organizations, are collected at https://www.aaup.org/issues/covid-19-pandemic-resources.

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