Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education

June 1, 2011
Contact: Robin Burns

Ninety-seventh Annual Meeting of the AAUP

Washington, D.C.— The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) will host its Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education on June 8-12 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Panels providing a faculty perspective on critical issues in higher education will run all day Wednesday, June 8 through Saturday, June 11.  The conference will also include special AAUP-sponsored workshops on “Understanding Institutional Financial Information,” “Making Senates Effective,” and “Effective Faculty Handbooks.”

Other highlights include:

Thursday, June 9

Capitol Hill Day 
Professors from across the country will visit Capitol Hill to talk with their representatives and senators about academic freedom, funding, and other issues affecting higher education. The day will be capped with a reception.  The reception will be held at Rayburn B-338 from 4:30-6:30 pm. Congressman Joe Courtney, representing the second congressional district of Connecticut, will be presented the Henry T. Yost Award.  The Yost Award is given to the senator or representativs who make the greatest contribution for higher education each year.

Friday, June 10

Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University) will be the plenary luncheon speaker and his topic is “The Hockey Stick: On the Front Lines in the Climate Wars.” Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli is seeking records from the University of Virginia related to the communications and research of professor Mann, a former UVA professor.  In its most strongly-worded court filing to date, UVA has characterized Cuccinelli’s investigation as “an unprecedented and improper governmental intrusion into ongoing scientific research” and has said that Cuccinelli is targeting Mann because he “disagrees with his academic research regarding climate change.”

Saturday, June 11

AAUP’s  Annual Business Meeting
On Saturday, the annual meeting business session begins at 9 am and will include consideration of the recommendations of the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure regarding the AAUP’s censure list. This list is published for the purpose of informing Association members, the profession at large, and the public that academic freedom is not adequately protected at the institutions listed.

The AAUP’s Committee on College and University Governance recommendations regarding the AAUP’s sanction list will also be under consideration. In 1991, the Association’s Council made it possible for an AAUP annual meeting to sanction an institution for “substantial noncompliance with standards of academic governance.”

AAUP Plenary Lunch
Paul Kniest
(Policy and Research Coordinator for the National Tertiary Education Union) will address the luncheon. In addition, the Iris Molotsky Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education will be presented to Beryl Lieff Benderly of Miller-McCune Magazine for her article “The Real Science Gap.” Fifty-year members will be also be recognized.

Saturday night Banquet. The Ralph S. Brown Award for Shared Governance will be presented to Anthony S. Tricoli, (President, Georgia Perimeter College). This award is given to an American college or university administrator or trustee, or to a board of trustees as a group, in recognition of an outstanding contribution to shared governance, preferably during the previous year.

Special guest speakers at the banquet Judy Ancel (University of Missouri, Kansas City) and Don Giljum (University of Missouri, Saint Louis) will talk about their recent experiences. In April, right-wing activist Andrew Breitbart publicly attacked Ancel and Giljum by releasing video excerpts from their labor studies class. The excerpts had been taken out of context and distorted through splicing and editing. The two faculty members courageously protested Breitbart’s invasion of their classroom, violation of their academic freedom and attempt to intimidate them and their colleagues.

The complete program is posted on the AAUP’s website.  Members of the media are welcome to attend.  For more information or to register, contact Robin Burns.

The American Association of University Professors is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom by supporting tenure, academic due process, and standards of quality in higher education. The AAUP has about 45,000 members at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Media Contact: 
Robin Burns
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, June 1, 2011