Summer Institute

By Gwendolyn Bradley

More than 270 AAUP members and academic activists convened at the University of Denver July 23–26 for an intensive, four-day series of workshops and seminars designed to prepare participants to organize their colleagues, stand up for academic freedom, and advocate for research and teaching as the core priorities of higher education.

The range of topics addressed included organizing for power, implementing collective bargaining contracts, developing contract campaigns, building and running AAUP chapters, understanding institutional finances, and forging partnerships and alliances on campus.

“I was impressed by how each session, and the institute as a whole, was rigorous and fun at the same time,” says Leonore Fleming, a faculty member at Utica College and first-time attendee. “Each session was full of great information, and there was always much friendly and helpful discussion surrounding the (sometimes quite serious) issues at hand. It was refreshing to be around so many academics working hard together on issues that transcend the typical ‘publish or perish’ competitive environment.”

More than 150 attendees gathered for a rough-cut viewing of Agents of Change. Produced by Abby Ginzberg and Frank Dawson, the film examines the racial conditions that produced the Black Campus movements of the 1960s and their connection to our contemporary moment. After the film, Ginzberg, Dawson, and professor Ibram Kendi led a group discussion.

“The Summer Institute exceeded my expectations with excellent workshops and panel discussions,” says Deborah Bell, a faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. “I am increasingly convinced that we need one faculty speaking with one voice to confront the serious challenges facing higher education, and I deeply appreciate the work of this year’s organizers and presenters in pointing us toward innovative solutions.”

Photographs from the Summer Institute are available at http:// www.flickr.com/aaup. 

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