Highlights from the 2010 AAUP Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education

See lots of Annual Conference photos on Flickr. View them individually or as a slideshow.

In his opening address, Cary Nelson recapitulates the major themes of his critically acclaimed book, No University Is an Island.

Annual Meeting Testimony

Former Antioch University professor Chris Hill spoke at the annual meeting plenary session about her experiences at the institution. Later that day, the annual meeting voted to place Antioch on the AAUP's sanction list. Read Professor Hill's remarks or watch a video of her delivering them (in two parts). See the investigating committee report that led to sanction. Read a media release about the sanction and two censures that were also voted.

Selected Conference Presentations

Gaye Tuchman of the University of Connecticut delivered a lighthearted skewering of college and university administrations that approach education "by the numbers" and focus on quantifiable phenomena such as U.S. News & World Report rankings, number of grant dollars received, percentage of students graduated, and the like.

Danielle L. Auriemma and Tovah Klein of Barnard College discussed "Experiences and Challenges of Women Combining Academic Careers and Motherhood." The presentation, based on first-person accounts of eighteen female professors with young children, examines the experience of balancing academic careers and motherhood. The flexible, open-ended nature of the academic setting provides pros and cons for mothers who report feeling torn between the two domains and describe “having it all” as unattainable. .

In "Separating Adjunct Fact from Fiction," Jeffrey Baker and Tom Policano of the Rochester Institute of Technology reported on the results of several surveys of adjunct faculty at their institutionn. They discussed myths about who serves as adjunct faculty at America’s colleges and universities and outlined a process for obtaining information on contingent faculty on your own campus. 

Lynn Tatum of Baylor University presented on "Your Evangelical Students and Evolution: How They Think and Why They
Think the Way They Do." Half of Americans reject “evolution;” eighteen-year-old freshman usually think like their parents; ergo, we should not be surprised when Evangelical students show up in our classes advocating creationism or intelligent design. This presentation will focus on the interpretive presuppositions our students bring, and discuss some strategies for dealing with them. 

Jeanette Jeneault of Syracuse University made a presentation on "The Keeper of the Keys for Contingent Faculty: Evaluation Practices and  Their De/Evolution Post-Collective Bargaining."
The presentation examined the impact of collective bargaining on evaluation of contingent faculty, in particular how contracts may lead to changes in evaluation protocols. Several evaluation models were be considered, as well as how collective bargaining can impact evaluation practices in positive ways. Read the paper from which the talk was excerpted; in two parts because of large file size: 


Patricia Ann McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University, was awarded the Alexander Meiklejohn Award for Academic Freedom. The award recognizes an American college or university administrator or trustee, or to a board of trustees as a group, in recognition of an outstanding contribution to academic freedom. 

Congressman Donald Payne of New Jersey received the Henry T. Yost Award for outstanding leadership on behalf of higher education. In conferring the award, the AAUP's Committee on Government Relations highlighted Representative Payne’s longstanding commitment to enhancing the Pell Grant program, his important role in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, and especially his leadership this spring in protecting student aid programs during the health care reform and budget reconciliation debate. 

News Coverage of the Conference

"The influential American Association of University Professors has censured the administration at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston."  Read more in The Houston Chronicle.

For more information about the censure and sanction actions of the Annual Meeting see Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education, for more information about  the Annual Meeting see the Chronicle, and about the Alexander Meiklejohn Award, see the Washington Post and Inside Higher Ed.

In addition, read articles about panels from the AAUP's Annual Conference on the State of Higher Education in The Chronicle of Higher Education: Speakers See Threats to the Concept of Shared Governance, Faculty Burnout Has Both External and Internal Sources, Scholar Says, and Workplace Mediators Seek a Role in Taming Faculty, Bullies; these in Inside Higher Ed: Burning Out, and Fading Away, and Another Kind of Academic Career Path; and Scholar Says Research Universities Not Serious About Faculty Diversity and Academic Bullying: A Problem on College Campuses in Diverse Issues in Higher Education.




Publication Date: 
Wednesday, June 16, 2010