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The AAUP office reopened on September 7, 2021. Contact information for all staff, including those working remotely or on a hybrid schedule, is available here

 

AAUP Updates

Yesterday, plaintiffs including the University of Oklahoma chapter of the AAUP filed a lawsuit challenging an Oklahoma law that severely restricts faculty at public institutions in the state from teaching about race and gender.

The AAUP's latest report on faculty governance finds over all, faculty representation is up over time, but faculty participation in presidential searches is down, as is full participation of part-time faculty members.

AAUP president Irene Mulvey says the AAUP will investigate and censure the University System of Georgia as the Board of Regents nears a vote that would essentially remove tenure protections.

New regulations have been proposed by the US Department of Education to recognize the difficulties faced by contigent faculty in their pursuit of PSLF; while they are a huge improvement from the current program, the proposed rules must go further to need the needs of faculty. Former professor and current AAUP staff member David Kociemba offered comments to the rulemaking committee during their first week of negotiations.

A pattern of egregious violations of principles of academic governance and persistent structural racism in the University of North Carolina System has prompted AAUP to take action. Among several issues the report will discuss is the widely publicized mishandling of the tenure case of New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones.

“The Build Back Better Act represents a historic and long-overdue investment in higher education—as well as a meaningful down payment on the additional changes needed to aid our colleges and universities, and the people who make them run. Increased Pell Grant funding, a new college retention and completion fund, and tuition subsidies at minority-serving institutions are important initiatives that will help students at a wide range of institutions, and go beyond the free community college funding that is the signature program of this bill."

“The unmistakable aim of such efforts is to impose thought control on American education and thereby on the American people," the brief states.

The AAUP calls on campus administrations to do everything possible to ensure the highest level of health and safety, and to follow the guidance of public health experts to use every available tool to protect students, faculty, staff, and neighboring communities from further spread of COVID this fall.

The AAUP led a coalition letter, signed by national unions with locals and chapters on college campuses, asking Congress to support higher ed workers in the American Families Plan. The letter argued that the proposed free community college plan should be expanded to better protect faculty and staff, ensure high-quality instruction for students at any institution, and promote shared governance.

AAUP in the News

Thu, 10/14/2021  |  New York Times

The Board of Regents has given its universities the power to fire tenured professors without faculty input. “There should now be a new word for it in Georgia, because tenure will not mean tenure there,” said Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP.

Thu, 10/14/2021  |  Inside Higher Education

The AAUP's latest report on faculty governance finds over all, faculty representation is up over time, but faculty participation in presidential searches is down, as is full participation of part-time faculty members.

Thu, 10/14/2021  |  Diverse Issues in Higher Ed

In the pandemic world of academia, many institutions are struggling to keep enrollment up and costs down, but there is still a distinct awareness that moves must be made to bring faculty diversity closer to student diversity. Data released in fall 2020 by the AAUP show that, while underrepresented minorities comprise 32.6% of the U.S. population, they make up only 12.9% of full-time faculty.

Wed, 10/13/2021  |  Associated Press

Opponents say the plan infringes on tenure, undermines faculty involvement in peer reviews and provides a shortcut for firing professors that could be abused. More than 1,000 faculty members across the system signed a petition against it.

“They have an intent and it is clear as it ever was: give us tenure in name only,” wrote Matthew Boedy, a University of North Georgia professor who is the president of the Georgia Conference of the AAUP.

Tue, 10/12/2021  |  Athens Herald-Banner

The AAUP has vowed to launch an investigation if the regents adopted the changes.

“At most reputable institutions of higher education, tenured professors can be dismissed only for reasons related to professional fitness and only after a hearing before a faculty body,” wrote AAUP President Irene Mulvey.

“In such a hearing, the administration must make its case that the faculty member's conduct or performance warranted dismissal. The USG board-proposed policy unlinks this procedure, commonly referred to as academic due process, from post-tenure review, thereby undermining tenure and academic freedom.”

Sun, 10/10/2021  |  Politico

"We're just at a level of frustration that I've never seen before," AAUP president Irene Mulvey. "Everyone's fighting the same battle, and that is for common sense rules to end the pandemic and keep people safe." Mulvey said she couldn't think of another unified uprising of professors across the country like this since McCarthyism threatened academic freedom in the 1950s.

"The way these governors and legislatures are prohibiting universities from doing the things we know will end the pandemic ... It's like the building is on fire and they're passing rules saying you're prohibited from using the fire extinguisher."

Wed, 10/06/2021  |  University Business

The university said it has made efforts and will continue to address gender pay equity in the future. The disparity in gender pay gaps for faculty has been well-documented in higher education. An AAUP study showed that full-time female faculty members earn close to 20% less than men.

Tue, 10/05/2021  |  Washington Post

Harry Zarin, president of the Montgomery College's chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said full-time faculty strongly support the mandate.

"In general, we want to be safe when we come back to campus," Zarin said. "If we pick it up, we're bringing that home to our families, and that's not a good thing," .

Upcoming Events

October 26, 2021

Financial exigency, force majeure, program cuts, reduction in force—these are the challenges that faculty governance has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a recent AAUP report detailed, some administrations effected drastic responses to the pandemic with little or no consultation with the faculty even where austerity and emergency measures had dramatic effects on the curriculum and faculty status, areas traditionally considered the faculty’s primary responsibility. This beginner-level session will help you understand the AAUP’s recommended standards for faculty governance.

October 27, 2021

Leaders of collective bargaining chapters are invited to share their work on campus and learn from other AAUP chapter leaders.

November 9, 2021

This training will give an overview of running an effective state-level lobbying program. We’ll also discuss legislation we are seeing in many states that seeks to restrict teaching about race and history. It is intended for chapter and conference leaders who are interested in starting or jumpstarting a state-level lobbying program.

November 10, 2021

In this training for chapter and conference leaders, we’ll give an overview of a media program, discuss amplifying your message, compiling press lists, building relationships, sending press release

November 20, 2021 to November 21, 2021

A meeting of the AAUP's national Council.

E-mail Updates

 

Announcements

Did you know that the AAUP has an online career center to help colleges and universities connect with qualified applicants? 

See open positions and learn how to apply.