Officer and Council Election Results
In a mail ballot election, AAUP chapter and section delegates 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.
Watch the 2020 AAUP officer and Council candidate campaign speeches here.
Report on Prevalence of AAUP Policies
The AAUP released a new research report, Policies on Academic Freedom, Dismissal for Cause, Financial Exigency, and Program Discontinuance, that examines the prevalence of AAUP-supported policies in faculty handbooks and collective bargaining agreements at four-year institutions that have a tenure system. The report can be found here: https://www.aaup.org/news/report-prevalence-aaup-policies.
The AAUP is launching a series of upgrades to our online systems between Friday, July 31, and Monday, August 3. During this time, you will be unable to log in to your account to access member-only content on our website (all other content will be available). Notices about the changeover will also be posted on our website.
The changes are happening because the AAUP is moving to a new member database. All members will receive an email tomorrow about the changeover and another email Monday, August 3, with log-in credentials. At a later date our membership department will be in touch with chapter leaders to discuss how you will interact with our newly updated database system. Stay tuned.
Stand with Akron-AAUP
The Akron-AAUP needs our help. On July 15, the University of Akron Board of Trustees, at the recommendation of President Gary Miller, terminated 97 full-time faculty positions, 96 of which were part of the Akron-AAUP bargaining unit, and 70 of which were tenured professors. The chapter has launched a letter-writing campaign to the trustees and president telling them to rescind the decision or resign their positions.
The administration reopened the collective bargaining agreement with the faculty union by invoking the "force majeure" section of the contract. Akron-AAUP has contested the use of force majeure. They also have presented the administration with various alternatives to eliminating these positions, such as reductions in administrative salaries and reforming athletics expenditures. However, the administration rejected such proposals outright.
Send a letter here.
Summer Institute Online
Our Summer Institute Online webinar series began on July 7 and will continue through August 4, with at least two webinars each week. The 90-minute sessions covered a wide range of topics, from fighting efforts to sideline faculty governance to supporting student protests to pushing back against austerity budgets. There were also two opportunities for attendees to share the challenges they’ve faced and the successes they’ve had in shared governance and organizing in small-group discussions.
The closing plenary on August 4 from 1:00 to 2:30 pm EDT, “Rebuilding Higher Education as a Common Good,” will discuss a vision of various paths forward for higher education: “The COVID-19 pandemic, the looming depression, and the national uprising against systemic racism have shown us that reform in higher education is needed now more than ever. How can we rebuild higher education around the pillars of equity, affordability, and quality? How can we better realize the role of our system of higher education in sustaining democratic society?”
The panelists are:
- Momin Rahman, Cochair of the Equity Committee for the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT)
- Christopher Newfield, University of California, Santa Barbara faculty and author of The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them
- Annelise Orleck, Copresident of Dartmouth College AAUP
- Todd Wolfson, President of Rutgers University AAUP-AFT
- Moderator: Julie Schmid, Executive Director of the AAUP
AAUP Opposes Exclusion of International Students
The AAUP issued a statement on July 13 about the Department of Homeland Security’s July 6 ruling regarding international students and the upcoming academic year. The statement called on the Trump administration “to allow all international students to obtain or retain visas to continue their education at US institutions, regardless of whether they participate remotely, in person, or through a hybrid model and regardless of whether they are studying inside or outside the United States, during this unprecedented global health crisis.”
On July 13, the AAUP joined an amicus brief in support of a legal challenge filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to prevent DHS’s July 6 directive, which rescinds a prior COVID-19 exemption for international students participating in online education, from taking effect so that thousands of international students can continue to participate in educational opportunities in the United States, even if their course of study is online. Even though DHS agreed to withdraw their July 6 directive, ICE has now issued guidance excluding new international students from entering the US to participate in remote learning at US institutions. AAUP joined 45 other higher education associations, and signed on to a letter last week to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf seeking assurances that all students with a valid visa will be allowed to enter the country in time for the fall semester.
AAUP Signs on to Rulemaking Petitions
The AAUP signed onto two petitions to renew as part of the US Copyright Office rulemaking, the process of renewing and/or seeking modification to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The first, a petition by the UCI Intellectual Property, Arts, and Technology Clinic, University of California, Irvine School of Law seeks renewal of the expanded exemption for multimedia e-books which would permit authors of multimedia e-books to circumvent the Content Scramble System on DVDs, the Advanced Access Content System on Blu-ray discs, and encryption and authentication protocols on digitally transmitted video in order to make fair use of motion picture content in multimedia e-books, not just for film criticism.
The second, a petition by the American University Washington College of Law, on behalf of Peter Decherney, professor of cinema studies and English at the University of Pennsylvania, et al. seeks renewal of the exemption for audiovisual works (including excerpts from motion pictures, television programs, music videos, and video games) embodied in physical media (such as DVDs protected by the Content Scramble System) and Blu-ray Discs (protected by the Advanced Access Content System) or TPM-protected online distribution services or streaming media, where the circumvention is accomplished by college and university students or faculty (including teaching and research assistants) for the purpose of criticism or comment.