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Irene Mulvey Elected AAUP President

In a mail ballot election, AAUP chapter and section delegates have elected Irene Mulvey of Fairfield University as the new president of the 105-year-old faculty-led organization. Paul Davis of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College was elected as vice president, and Christopher Sinclair of the University of Oregon was elected as secretary-treasurer. Chapter and section delegates also elected Nivedita Majumdar and Glinda Rawls as at-large Council members.

Irene Mulvey has a PhD in mathematics and is a professor of mathematics at Fairfield University, where she has taught since 1985. Mulvey has served multiple terms as president of the Faculty Welfare Committee/AAUP, Fairfield’s AAUP chapter, and as president of the Connecticut AAUP conference. She has also served multiple terms as treasurer of both her chapter and the state conference; has served multiple terms on the AAUP’s Council; and was elected by the Council to serve on the AAUP’s Executive Committee three times. She is currently a member of the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure on which she will continue to serve ex officio.

Mulvey shared this statement about her election:

I am truly honored to have been elected to serve the AAUP as its next president. I have been a faculty activist and organizer at the campus, state, and national level for many years, and I look forward with excitement to my new role.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has upended higher education, adding to the damage of decades of disinvestment in public institutions. The murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the latest in a shameful list of killings, have put systemic institutionalized racism in the United States into stark relief. We face unprecedented challenges as an Association, as a profession, and as a society.

I look forward to working immediately with the new leadership to begin supporting our chapters, our conferences, and our members in these extraordinary times. I’m certain that the restructuring that took effect on January 1, 2020, will allow the leadership to be more effective in  helping faculty everywhere to organize in support of academic freedom and genuine shared governance in a way that reflects the profession as it is today. As faculty members, we are the individuals most invested in the academy and the educational mission of our institutions. Organizing as faculty members amplifies the faculty voice and allows us to wield power on our campuses. Leadership, planning, organizing, and decision-making at every level of the AAUP are best when the leadership is diverse and truly representative of all aspects of our profession.

I am grateful to president Rudy Fichtenbaum for his steady and forward-looking leadership over the last eight years and to the other members of the leadership who are stepping down at this time. Thanks to these dedicated colleagues, the Association is ready for anything. We are prepared for the challenges of the moment. In addition, this particular moment provides us with an opportunity to put forward a progressive vision for the future of higher education. We will seize this opportunity to press for a renewed commitment to higher education as a common good.

I believe the best leadership is collective leadership, truly representative of our profession. In that spirit, I look forward to working with my colleagues to make our progressive vision for the future of higher education a reality.

Paul Davis has been an active member of the AAUP since 1990 and was a member of the first bargaining team at Cincinnati State. He has served on his chapter’s executive committee as treasurer and president, and from 2002 to 2011 he served as a member of the Ohio AAUP conference’s board of trustees. He served for over a decade on the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress Executive Committee and as its final chair prior to the AAUP’s restructuring. Davis has an EdD in educational foundations from the University of Cincinnati. He has taught at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College since 1987 and has held a number of faculty positions. Davis is currently an emeritus professor of history and American government.

Chris Sinclair has a PhD in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin and is an associate professor at the University of Oregon with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics and the Clark Honors College. He has also taught at the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences at University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder and has had visiting appointments at Max Plank Instut für Mathematik in Bonn, Germany, the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques in suburban Paris, and the Mathematics Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California. He has served in many governance roles at the University of Oregon, including as president of the university senate and as current president of the United Academics of the University of Oregon.


Nivedita Majumdar, who has served as at-large representative to the Council, is an associate professor of English at John Jay College at the City University of New York (CUNY). She is serving her second term as secretary of the Professional Staff Congress, CUNY’s union representing faculty and staff. Glinda Rawls is an associate professor of counselor education at Western Michigan University (WMU). She has served in various leadership roles for the WMU AAUP, a collective bargaining chapter, and is currently a member of its contract negotiation team.

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, July 21, 2020