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2022 AAUP In the News

11.14.2022 | KU faculty, academic staff announce effort to unionize

United Academics of the University of Kansas pointed out several issues that it said prompted the organizing campaign: KU’s recent attempt to suspend tenure and its over-reliance on short-term contracts for many teaching faculty, no voice in major decisions about academic programs, stagnant wages that are not competitive with other flagship universities, and a decline in state funding that hinders the kind of world-class research that benefits all Kansans.

11.07.2022 | Universities Need to Prioritize Educational Investments to Reverse the Great Resignation Trend Among Professors

In order to stem the mass exodus of professors leaving the field, universities must strike a balance between easing the burden on current faculty and hiring new talent. By maintaining virtual course offerings and expanding access to online learning resources, universities can help professors manage their current workload while they work to invest in new faculty and revise academic policies to be clearer and more applicable to advancing technology.

11.03.2022 | The Cruelty of Faculty Churn

It’s time that institutions own up to what these jobs really are — a means of extracting cheap labor by ruthlessly exploiting the dreams of the most vulnerable academics.

11.01.2022 | Gov. Cooper orders review of how UNC System leaders are appointed

Since Republicans gained control of both the state House of Representatives and the Senate more than a decade ago, leaders at the system and university levels have generally become more partisan and conservative-leaning, and are generally seen as exerting more political influence on the universities, according to an April report by the American Association of University Professors.

 

10.30.2022 | AAUP asserts faculty dismissals at Emporia State a ‘grave’ threat to academic freedom, tenure

“It is difficult not to construe what has happened at Emporia State as a direct assault on tenure and academic freedom with grave implications for tenure and academic freedom not only at Emporia State but throughout the Kansas system of public higher education.”

10.25.2022 | Florida faculty union presses UF on presidential search with 1 finalist

Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP, said in an interview that she’s never seen evidence to support the “draconian cloak of secrecy” the new law created. “A nontransparent process is an illegitimate process in our view,” she said. “Faculty have to be meaningfully involved in every step of the process and that does not appear to have happened here. It makes it extremely difficult for the person to lead the community.”

10.24.2022 | "What happens when you put ideologues in charge of a university"

In the United States, tenure has long served as a safeguard for academic freedom. Tenure prevents professors from being fired for discussing controversial ideas. And it's the tenure system that insulates faculty from undue influence by university donors, administrators, and politicians.

That's exactly why tenure has become a frequent target of right-wing lawmakers and pundits.

10.13.2022 | Tenure or Unions? Why Not Both?

Now is not the time to let up on any aspect of building power in the academic labor movement. Now is the time to demand genuine academic freedom for all who teach and research in higher ed.

10.11.2022 | AAUP Georgia Survey: changes to tenure overwhelmingly unpopular with professors

A recent survey of professors at Georgia colleges and universities showed an overwhelming number want a reinstatement of tenure protections. According to the survey, 93.5% of the 972 faculty who responded agreed that the USG Board of Regents needed to re-instate the ability of tenured faculty to receive a hearing from their peers prior to a dismissal.

"If they will just do that simple thing of moving the post tenure policy back under the for-cause policy, we would be happy," said Georgia AAUP President Matthew Boedy.

10.04.2022 | $4K or 4% raises in first year mark terms of new Eastern Michigan faculty union deal

The deal between Eastern Michigan University and its faculty union was made official Monday in a special Board of Regents meeting. The regents approved a new contract for the Ypsilanti-based university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors. This move comes about a month after the union went on strike after the previous contract expired Aug. 31. The four-year agreement, which applies to EMU’s 506 full-time faculty, starts with faculty members seeing a first-year raise of 4% or $4,000, whichever is greater

09.24.2022 | Eastern Michigan University Faculty Ratify New Contract

The Eastern Michigan University chapter of the American Association of University Professors said Friday that 96% of its members voted in favor of the deal which would include pay raises and more favorable health care coverage.

09.22.2022 | AAUP to open case against Emporia State after dismissal of 33 faculty members

“What’s happening at Emporia State University in Kansas is incredibly important,” said Irene Mulvey, AAUP president. “By getting rid of tenure, they’ve gutted academic freedom. This is part of a larger attack on education, which is part of the attack on democracy we are witnessing in this country.”

09.16.2022 | The Problem of Faculty Resignations at Oakland

If Oakland is going to become “a university of choice” it must identify problems facing the faculty and attempt to resolve them.  And yet, the university has failed to even ask faculty why they leave.

The AAUP wants to understand why our faculty leave Oakland; that way we can improve the working environment for those who remain.

09.14.2022 | UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members pass resolution as tensions continue over free speech

Last week UNC-Chapel Hill’s Faculty Council passed a resolution affirming the right of faculty members to speak freely and the university’s duty to protect their speech.

“[Faculty members] should be encouraged to provide thought leadership, to be public scholars when their work gives them meaningful insight,” said Mimi Chapman during the meeting. “This is what faculty at a great research university does. They weigh in. They share their knowledge and experience. We shouldn’t be intimidated into hiding our light under the proverbial bushel.”

09.13.2022 | Emporia State University is about to suspend tenure. Here’s why you should care.

Tenure serves the public interest because society benefits when teachers and researchers are free of control by corporations, religious groups, special interests, and the government. Free inquiry, free expression, and open dissent are critical for student learning and the advancement of knowledge,” the association says. “Therefore, it is important to have systems in place to protect academic freedom. Tenure serves that purpose.”

09.12.2022 | EMU faculty, admin reach tentative contract agreement ending strike

"We took a stand to maintain and strengthen quality education at EMU, and this agreement moves us forward," Kirkpatrick added. "This was a challenging set of negotiations. Our goal now is to work together, all across the campus, to deliver the best possible options and opportunities for EMU students."

09.12.2022 | Rider University reaches tentative contract agreement with AAUP chapter

"The lengthy negotiations concluded days after thr chapter hosted the largest meeting in its history," said David Dewberry, president of the Rider AAUP chapter. "Members were adament they get a fair contract and go on strike if necessary."

09.07.2022 | Eastern Michigan U. faculty strike for equity in health care

Members of EMU's chapter of the American Association of University Professors voted 91% in favor Tuesday of authorizing the strike by more than 500 tenured and tenure-track faculty.

09.07.2022 | Rider Faculty, Administration To Resume Contract Negotiations

The union claims the administration has threatened to remove their collective bargaining rights, if members don't agree to do more work for less pay and will formally petition the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to bar all full-time faculty from being represented by the AAUP.

08.29.2022 | EMU faculty takes first steps toward strike vote

The members of the EMU-AAUP voted to inform EMU administrators of possible strike action on Saturday. Negotiations have stalled and the faculty union reports that administrators refused to respond to bargaining proposals, even after meetings assisted by a mediator from the Michigan Employment Relations Commission.

08.25.2022 | Will national higher-ed teachers’ union merger mean more power for Georgia’s professors and teachers?

“In many ways, it’s a matter of political capital,” said Georgia AAUP President Matthew Boedy. “It’s a question of whether state legislators recognize that we have leverage.”

08.16.2022 | UNC? Political?

A former chairman of the UNC Board of Governors has alleged that he was pressured by Republican Senate leader Phil Berger to remove a UNC System president.

08.16.2022 | At some universities, tenure may become a thing of the past. That could have an economic impact.

“I’m really reconsidering whether or not I actually want to apply to jobs in the state of Florida,” Hartnett said. “I know that if I were to get a job, even a tenured job, that tenure is not necessarily secured.”

07.28.2022 | Report: University Faculty See Biggest Pay Decrease in 50 Years

"It's not just the wallet that hurts," Colby explained. "Actually, working conditions have been a problem as well, and ultimately we worry about the morale of faculty who have, for the last couple of years, been in constant crisis mode putting out one fire after another."

07.05.2022 | Calling It Quits

In one example of how this may be contributing to faculty departures, Vickie Shields, provost at Nevada State College, recently told The Nevada Independent that while faculty searches at the ever-growing college used attract 40 to 50 applicants, now, depending the discipline, some attract “maybe one applicant.” Several faculty members reportedly attributed this trend to inflation, especially rising housing costs, outpacing faculty pay.

06.28.2022 | AAUP Releases First Tenure Study Since 2004, Revealing Major Changes in Faculty Career Tracks

The 2022 report shows that 53.5 percent of higher education institutions have replaced tenure-eligible positions with contingent faculty appointments, compared with only 17.2 percent of colleges in 2004. In 2019, just 10.5 percent of faculty positions in the U.S. were tenure-track and 26.5 percent were tenured, according to the AAUP. Nearly 45 percent were contingent part-time, or adjunct, roles. One in five were full-time, non-tenure-track positions.

06.22.2022 | Inflation underlines years of stagnant faculty pay

Taking 40-year-high inflation into account, real wages for full-time faculty members fell 5 percent. This is the largest one-year decrease on record since the AAUP began tracking this measure in 1972.

06.14.2022 | As Purdue President announces replacement, some faculty question “secretive” selection process

In a statement released Monday, three Purdue chapters of the American Association of University Professors criticized the selection process. West Lafayette chapter president Leigh Raymond said his first reaction to the announcement was complete surprise.

“The additional reaction is a sense of alarm about the lack of any public engagement with the faculty or campus community about how such an important leadership decision was made,” he said.

Raymond said the board and Daniels should have conducted an open presidential search that allowed an opportunity for faculty input.

06.08.2022 | Advocates want Miami University instructors union certified, but school says no

"This is a significant moment for faculty at Miami and for collective bargaining in Ohio. The Miami University union drive builds on a national wave of higher education organizing in recent years."

If Miami would agree to certify a teachers union, the school, said FAM officials, "would join the 10 out of 14 other four-year Ohio public universities with collective bargaining agreements and would be the largest bargaining unit to file since Bowling Green State University in 2010."

05.20.2022 | What’s Behind the Surge in No-Confidence Votes?

Less faculty input in presidential-search processes can engender votes of no confidence in a president’s performance down the road, says Mark Criley, a senior program officer in the AAUP's Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance.

05.18.2022 | Tracking the Evolution (and Erosion) of Tenure

The loss of tenure lines is accelerating. So is the erosion of tenure, by extension, according to a new institutional survey of tenure policies by the American Association of University Professors.

05.10.2022 | Necessary Cuts or a ’Downward Spiral’?

Among community colleges nationally, the number of part-time contingent faculty members fell from 187,520 in fall 2019 to 165,322 in fall 2020, a decrease of 11.8 percent, according to data from the AAUP. Meanwhile, U.S. Department of Education data show the number of part-time faculty members in the California Community Colleges system dropped from 27,094 to 24,298 between fall 2019 and fall 2020, a loss of almost 2,800 instructors.

05.03.2022 | Dialogue, not silence, will heal the breach at UNC

“Let us shine lights on these facts in this report and have a good and robust debate about them. Only a commitment to an open marketplace of ideas can cut through the fear that chilling effects instill," said Victoria Ekstrand, a professor at UNC’s School of Journalism and Media at the AAUP press conference.

UNC’s leaders should listen to their professors. They’ll learn something.

 

04.28.2022 | G.O.P. Lawmakers Subverted U. of North Carolina, Professors’ Group Says

A report by the American Association of University Professors details how Republican lawmakers, after taking over the legislature in 2010, wrested control of the university system’s Board of Governors as well as the trustees of its 17 individual campuses, influencing chancellor appointments and closing academic centers dedicated to fighting poverty, pollution and social injustice.

04.18.2022 | ‘Deplorable’ Conditions for Academic Freedom

“General conditions for academic freedom and shared governance at Linfield University are deplorable,” says the AAUP’s new report on its inquiry. The document will guide the AAUP’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure as it decides whether to recommend censuring Linfield’s administration for alleged violations of faculty rights at the committee’s meeting in June.

04.15.2022 | National academic association blasts Linfield University’s firing of tenured English professor

Linfield University’s firing of a tenured English professor last year without due process violated his academic freedom and the school’s own regulations, contributing to a “deplorable” campus culture, according to a report by the American Association of University Professors.

04.07.2022 | Inflation Jumps—Professor Pay Doesn’t

Adjusted for inflation, real average salaries decreased 5 percent year over year, representing the greatest decrease in real-wage growth seen since 1979–80, according to the AAUP. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U, increased 7 percent in 2021 and 12.5 percent in 1979, the AAUP said in a preliminary analysis of its data. Meanwhile, the average president’s salary at a doctoral university is $602,854.

03.31.2022 | Florida’s ‘Stop WOKE’ Bill Establishes Limits on Classroom Instruction Some Experts Call ‘Flatly Unconstitutional’

Enabling legislators to identify violations “basically guarantees inappropriate interference in higher education, said Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP.  HB7  is "a complete violation of academic freedom for instructors” that “basically legislates ignorance in higher education," she said.

"And who loses there are the students, who are really going to be denied the full, fair and honest education they deserve.”

 

03.29.2022 | Academic freedom is under assault — we have a sacred duty to protect it

"What we are seeing is an assault on the core attributes of higher education in America – autonomy and academic freedom – that make ours the best higher education system in the world. Politicians have far more important things to do than question the expertise and motives of tens of thousands of committed faculty and their institutions.

03.25.2022 | America’s next union battlefield may be on campus

About 120 new faculty union chapters have won recognition since 2013, with more than 36,000 members, according to the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at Hunter College.

03.21.2022 | Higher education faculty in Colorado push lawmakers to pass collective bargaining rights bill

“Collective bargaining is an essential right for all workers,” said Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP during Monday morning’s roundtable discussion, describing current working conditions among adjunct faculty as “abysmal.” She cited low pay among adjunct professors in the Colorado Community College System, where statewide pay averages about $2,500 per lecture course.

“(Students) deserve a stable faculty with decent working conditions and a voice in institutional decision-making and are not scrambling to make ends meet,” she said.

03.21.2022 | Higher education faculty in Colorado push lawmakers to pass collective bargaining rights bill

“Collective bargaining is an essential right for all workers,” said Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP during Monday morning’s roundtable discussion, describing current working conditions among adjunct faculty as “abysmal.” She cited low pay among adjunct professors in the Colorado Community College System, where statewide pay averages about $2,500 per lecture course.

“(Students) deserve a stable faculty with decent working conditions and a voice in institutional decision-making and are not scrambling to make ends meet,” she said.

03.14.2022 | GOP Targets Tenure to Curb Classroom Discussions of Race, Gender

“I don’t have to worry about someone looking over my shoulder,” said Smolen-Morton, president of South Carolina’s AAUP. “I don’t have to worry about being censured. I don’t have to worry about being gagged. I just need to be professional and do my research and keep the students conversing within the bounds of academic discourse.”

03.08.2022 | ‘A Voice That Needs to Be Heard’

The American Association of University Professors and the American Federation of Teachers on Monday announced plans to expand their affiliation and become a stronger faculty voice in national, state and campus-based discussions about the future of higher education.

03.02.2022 | Bad for Biz: Experts Warn Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's Attacks on Tenure Could Hurt Texas' Economy

Ripple effects of Texas’ CRT crackdown may soon be felt outside academia, said Hank Reichman, the former vice president of the American Association of University Professors. If the quality of faculty in vital areas such as nursing and engineering programs starts to deteriorate, then it could ultimately affect the state’s economy, he said.

 

02.24.2022 | The Increasingly Authoritarian War on Tenure

Democratic societies build in protections for university faculty so that we are not at the whims of whichever party is currently in power. When Patrick threatens tenure, he threatens those protections...

Losing it would mean the partisan political control of knowledge — which is precisely what partisans like Patrick are after.

02.22.2022 | Texas Lieutenant Governor Vows to End Tenure at Public Colleges

The AAUP slammed Patrick's idea and referred to his speech Friday as being "littered with disingenuous political theater and blatant falsehoods." AAUP President Irene Mulvey said in a statement that the proposal represents a danger to higher ed by suggesting that government entities can censor "entire fields of knowledge in service to an ideology." Mulvey also said that the effects on Texas colleges' recruitment would be devastating.

02.21.2022 | ‘A New Low’ in Attacks on Academic Freedom

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Texas said Friday that he would see to the end of tenure at the state’s public colleges and universities. The AAUP fact-checked Patrick’s “disingenuous” speech and warned that changing the law to make teaching CRT a fireable offense is “an extremely dangerous authoritarian precedent.”

02.18.2022 | ‘A Naked Attack’: Texas Lieutenant Governor Pledges to End Tenure for All New Hires

Jeffrey G. Blodgett, president of the Texas conference of the AAUP, condemned Patrick’s proposal in an email to The Chronicle. “Eliminating tenure most certainly would discourage prospective faculty from accepting a position at any public university in Texas. I cannot imagine that the chancellors and presidents” of the state’s public-university systems “would be in favor of eliminating tenure, as we would certainly lose out on top talent and our flagship universities would eventually drop out of the top rankings,”

02.17.2022 | AAUP Joins Amicus Brief in Support of Asian American Civil Rights

“Professor Xi and his family deserve justice, as do all other victims of this discriminatory targeting,” said Risa Lieberwitz, general counsel for the AAUP. “The courts must hold the US government accountable for its unconstitutional racial profiling and persecution of scientists and researchers of Asian descent.”

02.16.2022 | Critics fume as Sonny Perdue closes in on Georgia's university chancellor job

“The search for a chancellor must be conducted in the open and must include meaningful faculty participation,” the American Association of University Professors wrote in an open letter to the regents Monday. “The USG system deserves and demands a chancellor who understands higher education, who has the confidence of the faculty who work in the system, and who will work to enhance the entire Georgia system to ensure Georgia students have the best educational experience.”

02.14.2022 | Search for UF’s new president comes amid discussion of decreased transparency laws

“This is yet another attempt to control the truth,” she wrote. “To enable them to make a decision on a new president without any of the requisite and valuable input from the faculty and staff that the new president will lead," said president of the AAUP. "UF is again in a position to stray away from the mission of higher education to serve the common good"

02.08.2022 | AAUP votes no-confidence against Dell'Omo

“Dell’Omo’s poor management has cost Rider University millions and millions of dollars. To remedy this, he plans on layoffs and buy-outs, but the only person who should receive a pink slip is Greg Dell’Omo. If Rider is to survive, Dell’Omo must go,” said AAUP President Barbara Franz.

02.07.2022 | Campus workforce responds to AAUP allegations of university bad-faith bargaining

“I think there are ways that we can work well together. There are ways that the union currently works well together with administration but I think we can do more. That’s what we’re trying to do. And to not have the other side be part of the conversation with us is frustrating.” -Amy Pollard, OU AAUP Director.

02.02.2022 | Miami University faculty organizes to form bargaining union

"As a faculty member at Miami for the last 16 years, I've seen the relationship between upper administration and faculty deteriorate,” Todd Edwards, a professor in the Department of Teacher Education, said. "Too many colleagues have had their lives upended by misguided policies that put the institution before its people. We need a union to ensure all faculty are treated fairly and with dignity.”

02.01.2022 | Florida Bill May Shield University Presidential Searches From the Public

“When universities search for a new president, it’s one of the most important things that they do. Any kind of search needs to have faculty input throughout the entire process. This is a longstanding practice and widely accepted norm of higher education,” said Irene Mulvey, president of the AAUP.

01.25.2022 | Faculty groups blast Florida bill to make presidential searches more secret

“The apparent motivation is to avoid transparency, and to deny faculty and other members of the campus community opportunities to meet with the candidates applying to lead their institutions during these challenging times,” AAUP president Irene Mulvey wrote. “This is yet another attempt to control the truth, to enable them to make a decision on a new president without any of the requisite and valuable input from the faculty and staff that the new president will lead.”

01.21.2022 | UMN Faculty Senate passes resolution to affirm academic freedom

The University of Minnesota Faculty Senate passed an academic freedom resolution that protects the ability of staff and faculty to teach about concepts such as critical race theory and gender in the classroom. The resolution endorses the “Joint Statement on Legislative Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism in American History” that was jointly authored by the AAUP, the American Historical Association, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and PEN America. 

01.20.2022 | Department Of Justice's China initiative And Consequences For Academic Freedom

AAUP President Irene Mulvey was interviewed on the history, status of, and threats to academic freedom in the US. (Interview begins at 34.00).

01.14.2022 | Squelch efforts by Georgia Board of Regents to micromanage campuses

AAUP Georgia Conference leader Matthew Boedy: "People — like me — see a troubling legislative trend happening: banning books, creating ahistorical curriculum and trampling tenure rights. What is the Board of Regents doing about these serious issues that affect the daily working of our campuses?"

01.14.2022 | OU AAUP accuse university of bad-faith bargaining, demand response from administration

“These actions constitute bad faith bargaining, violating the Faculty Agreement as well as both the National Labor Relations Act and the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act. In an ethical and transparent organization, this type of behavior would result in employee termination," wrote Karen Miller, OU AAUP President and Associate Professor of History.

01.06.2022 | Curriculum Incentive Incorporating Equity and Social Justice Plan Prompts Political Backlash

“Any efforts to promote justice and equality in higher education and in society should be applauded,” said Irene Mulvey, president of the merican Association of University Professors. “Initiatives like this one at the University of Memphis which enable faculty to take a fresh look at their own subject and view it through a lens of social justice, are essential if higher education is to fulfill its promise as a public good.”