To: Marty Kich, President AAUP-WSU
The California Conference of the American Association of University Professors (CA-AAUP) stands in solidarity with the striking faculty of the American Association of University Professors-Wright State University (AAUP-WSU). Yours is a fight for your students' education and for the continued existence of public higher education as a common good.
We are dismayed that administrators at your institution refuse to negotiate in good faith and are instead using deceptive and coercive tactics to weaken support for the strike among faculty, students, and the Dayton, Ohio, community (e.g., running classes with scab faculty unfamiliar with the curriculum; threatening loss of financial aid to students who fail to attend class; filing an unfair labor practice claim to seize faculty intellectual property). Such tactics are unacceptable in an institution of higher learning.
At the same time, we are heartened by the broad support you have received from your students, the local community, and other members of the higher-education community in Ohio and beyond. We recognize how crucial your struggle is to the future of public and private higher education in the United States, and we will support your strike until you achieve the resolution that your collective-bargaining chapter finds acceptable.
Claudio Fogu, President, CA-AAUP
on behalf of the CA-AAUP Executive Board:
Claudio Fogu, University of California, Santa Barbara
Mary Ann Irwin, Diablo Valley College (2018-2020)
Vice President for University of California:
Jesse Drew, University of California, Davis
Vice President for California State University:
Rosalinda Quintanar, San Jose State University (2018-2020)
Vice President for California Community Colleges:
Katie Graham, Diablo Valley College (2018-2020)
Vice President for Private Colleges and Universities:
Alex Zukas, National University (2018-2020)
It has been an incredible week at Wright State University. The weather has been terrible (temperatures in the single digits followed by snow and freezing rain).But everyday this week, hundreds of faculty have been on the picket line from 8a - 6p at the four main entrances to the campus. Our faculty have given up their pay checks, lost their health insurance, and left their classrooms, labs, schools and hospitals to take a stand and send a message to the administration and Board that we will not let them destroy public higher education at Wright State.
Members of the AAUP-WSU Executive Committee have been working around the clock, writing press statements, doing interviews, posting on social media, organizing picket shifts and dealing with the campus police. All who can are also doing regular shifts on the the picket lines. We have other members in charge of checking people in for picket duty, supplying picketers with hand and foot warmers providing food for hundreds of strikers, shoveling snow, shuttling picketers from our headquarters to the picket line, putting up and taking down tents everyday.
Our students and been unbelievable. They have brought food and drinks to us on the picket lines. One day last week while I was on the picket line a computer science student crossed the street in front of campus carrying a shopping bag full of hot bowls of chili and thanked us for what we were doing. Students have held two marches walking from campus out to our picket lines and briefly occupied the President’s office on Thursday demanding a meeting with the President.
We have been joined by our brothers and sisters in the labor movement from Dayton area and beyond. Of course Paul Davis was there with us as were others from Cincinnati State. John McNay President of the Ohio Conference was on the line with us. Other chapters from across the state have joined us as well, BGSU, University of Cincinnati, Miami University and faculty from the University of Dayton. This fall the Wright State Chapter affiliated with the Dayton-Miami Valley Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO) and their support for us has been fantastic. The President Tom Richie and Executive Director Diane Walsh have been on the line with us as have members from IBEW local 82, UFCW local 75 , IUE local 775, Iron Worker’s local 290, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Education Association. The state AFL-CIO blasted out our petition and a petition organized by students across the state. The AAUP-CBC has approved a grant in support of the strike and we have received donations letters of support from other unions across the country.
We have had the support from members of the Dayton City Commission and Senator Sherrod Brown.
We have had great support from the national staff of the AAUP. Ben Ratliff and Kira Schuman have been on the ground for weeks and both Christopher and Julie have also been here to offer their support.
The administration and Board have still refused to negotiate with us believing that our faculty would never strike. Once the strike was a reality, they claimed that they would cover all of our classes. In reality what is happening is that the campus is in chaos. They have threatened students with the loss of financial aid if they fail to attend class. They have some chairs attempting to teach as many as six classes. They have ads on LinkedIn offering to hire hundreds of scabs but there are hundreds of reports from students on social media telling us that substitutes are telling them to read their books or work on previous assignments. We have had reports of clinical sections at hospitals where no instructor showed up so the students left. Their definition of covering a class is having a “sweeper” take attendance! But as one of the signs held up by one of our picketers said “Attendance is not Instruction."
The administration and Board have filed an Unfair Labor Practice against us for not helping them determine how many scabs they need to teach classes and for refusing to provide scabs with the intellectual property of our faculty to enable them to run classes. On Thursday in what is clearly a move of desperation, they filed a Notice of an Unauthorized Strike with the State Employment Relations Board (SERB). Our attorney has told us there is a difference between an illegal strike and and effective strike and what the administration and Board are admitting with this filing is that the strike is effective. We have a hearing at 12 noon tomorrow and SERB will make a decision by 4p the same day.
We are confident that our members will remain united and do whatever is necessary. As the President of the AAUP, I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with each of our members who have chosen to take a stand, putting everything on the line, to fight for students and to ensure the continued existence of public higher education as a common good.
Professor Emeritus of Economics
Wright State University
American Association of University Professors
At a time of year when there’s a lot of talk about setting goals and resolutions, the AAUP’s goal is clear: continue to be a strong advocate for academic freedom, the faculty voice, and shared governance this year and beyond. There are a multitude of ways that you can get involved in the AAUP’s work in 2019 -- from proposing an article for our Journal of Academic Freedom to nominating a colleague for an award to joining us for our 2019 Annual Conference -- and by doing so, ensure that we continue to be a strong voice for higher education in turbulent times.
Here’s one major thing you can do to help build the voice and power of the AAUP in 2019: talk to your nonmember colleagues about the importance of joining the AAUP. Tell them why you’re a member and what you’re fighting for.
So what’s ahead in 2019?
We’ll be releasing the report of an investigation into the abrupt nonreappointment of a faculty member at Nunez Community College. The investigating committee concluded that the action was taken in apparent violation of his academic freedom and without a dismissal hearing to which he was entitled as the result of having obtained de facto tenure at the institution after twenty-two years of service. We’ll also release a report of an investigation at Maricopa Community College, examining the governing board's termination of a “meet-and-confer” provision of the faculty policy manual and its move to severely limit the participation of the faculty in institutional governance. We’ll share those reports later this winter. To get up-to-the-minute updates on our work and join lively discussions, you can follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Our next volume of the Journal of Academic Freedom is scheduled for publication in fall 2019 -- add your voice. We’re seeking original, scholarly articles that consider how “bullying” is implicated in conflicts taking place around discourses of civility and academic freedom. We are especially interested in essays related to how discourses of civility operate in terms of precarity, identity, and labor; globalization; social media and communication, campus discourse and more. See the complete call for papers, due March 1.
If your state has an active AAUP conference, you may be interested in getting more closely involved with the AAUP’s Assembly of State Conferences (ASC) or know someone who is. The ASC, which works to promote the general objectives of the AAUP and supports the development of state conferences and the member chapters, is seeking nominations for the following positions on its executive committee: treasurer and two at-large members. Visit https://www.aaup.org/2019-asc-election for more information. Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 18.
Save the date for the AAUP annual conference! It will be held June 12–16 just outside of Washington, DC. Highlights include a plenary session on the state of academic freedom, a Friday night reception, and an awards and recognition luncheon. In lieu of paper panels this year, we will organize peer-to-peer sessions in which chapters, staff, and members can share information about topics such as state-level legislation and lobbying; shared governance challenges; organizing locally around contingency; what’s coming up at the bargaining table; and organizing and member recruitment. We will also discuss proposed changes to the AAUP’s organizational structure.
Register now for the 16th Annual Meeting of the California Conference of the AAUP, Are Shared Governance and Academic Freedom One and the Same? to be held March 2 at Cal Maritime in Vallejo. Highlights include a keynote address, The Future of Academic Freedom, by Henry Reichman and 4 timely workshops on topics ranging from Creating Just Spaces on Campus to Fair Use for Academics.
If there is a leader or someone you want to recognize for outstanding service to the profession or chapter- or conference-level work, nominate them for an award. The deadline for all awards is March 15. Learn more here. Awards are presented at the Annual Conference.
Last but not least: in case you missed it, we highlighted some of our most significant wins in fall 2018 on our Academe Blog. From a victory for academic freedom at Rutgers to an important win for faculty of Purdue Global where our work exposed Purdue Global’s attempt to stifle individual faculty’s rights and undermine shared governance, it was a busy year. Read more and share the news.
Thank you for being a member of the AAUP.
With just a few days left in 2018, I urge you to make a tax-deductible contribution to the AAUP Foundation before the year ends. Please also consider setting up a monthly recurring donation. We are grateful for the generosity of all who have given already.
Even a small gift can have a significant impact when many join together to support academic freedom and the professional standards that make US colleges and universities among the best in the world. With academic freedom endangered to an extent not seen since the 1950s, the Foundation's work is more important than ever.
The targeted harassment of individual faculty members such as Laurie Rubel at Brooklyn College, Amanda Gailey at the University of Nebraska, and Mark Bray at Dartmouth College continues unabated, making online smear campaigns and death threats an occupational hazard for many whose scholarship or extramural activities address racism and other contentious topics. Intensified assaults on tenure, shared governance, and the rights of faculty unions threaten not only the faculty but our democracy itself.
We need a strong AAUP Foundation to thwart these assaults and to ensure that AAUP principles and standards remain the norm in American higher education. Your contribution of any amount will help to make this possible.
As the charitable and educational arm of the AAUP, the Foundation enables work that membership dues alone would be unable to fund. The Foundation's Legal Defense Fund supports faculty members involved in litigation that protects tenure and academic freedom and provides funding for AAUP amicus briefs, such as recent challenges to Texas’s “campus carry” law and to the Trump administration’s travel ban affecting scholars from predominantly Muslim countries. AAUP investigations of academic freedom violations are supported by the Foundation's Academic Freedom Fund, which also assists faculty members involved in academic freedom controversies—like Johnny Williams, whose suspension by Trinity College due to his social media posts was later reversed. We underwrite publication costs for the AAUP’s annual Bulletin and Journal of Academic Freedom. This year the Foundation sponsored a well-attended conference on academic freedom in California community colleges and other educational programming as well as an UnKoch My Campus report aimed at counteracting undue academic influence by donors to colleges and universities. Internationally, the Foundation has helped fund Scholars at Risk’s Student Advocacy Programs and Scholar Transition Project, which assists higher education professionals forced to emigrate due to political upheaval.
"I believe that the work you do may be one of the few lifelines remaining in our embattled society," wrote one Foundation donor last year. "Long live the AAUP—one of our best and strongest hopes!" wrote another. But if the AAUP Foundation is to continue its important work, we must expand our efforts. Attacks on higher education and the common good are being felt by faculty across the ideological spectrum—regardless of tenure status, appointment type, or home institution—and in the past few years we have seen these attacks increase. The AAUP Foundation exists to safeguard academic freedom and to support higher education in a free and democratic society. In order to persist in this work, we depend on the generosity of AAUP members and other supporters.
Please donate today.
You can also remember the AAUP Foundation in your will and leave a legacy to protect academic freedom in the future. For more information about the Foundation, and about giving options, visit our website.
Thank you for your loyal and generous support! Please forward this email to friends and colleagues who may be interested in our mission.
Chair, AAUP Foundation
P.S. If you prefer to donate by mail, please make a check payable to "AAUP Foundation" and send to:
1133 Nineteenth Street NW, Suite 200
Washington DC 20036
three significant victories
As we approach the end of the semester, I wanted to share information about three significant wins for the profession and for higher education as a common good. These successes emphasize the power that the national, the state conferences, and the chapters have when we stand united in our defense of the AAUP’s core principles of academic freedom, economic security, and shared governance for all those who teach and research in higher education.
AAUP members at University of Northern Iowa stand strong in support of collective bargaining: On October 30, 2018, the faculty at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) voted resoundingly to recertify their AAUP chapter, the United Faculty of UNI, as their union. This vote is the result of legislation, designed to disempower unions like the United Faculty, that was passed in 2017 by the Iowa legislature. As the members and the leaders of the chapter recognized, this legislation is also an attempt to undermine the faculty voice and undermine academic freedom and shared governance. Working in collaboration with AAUP staff organizers, the chapter, which represents full-time and part-time faculty, ran a strong “Union Yes!” campaign, which resulted in 85 percent of all eligible faculty voting. Of those voting, 97 percent voted in favor of keeping AAUP union representation. Building on the momentum from this election, the chapter is continuing to strengthen shared governance on campus and to improve the working conditions of non-tenure-track members. For more information about this important victory for academic unionism, click here.
The AAUP achieves a victory for faculty governance rights at the University of Montana Western: Recently, faculty members at UMW contacted the AAUP for advice and assistance about their administration’s disregard for the role of the faculty in institutional decision making. At issue was the administration’s attempt to obstruct the faculty senate review of the chancellor, provost, and other administrators, as outlined in the university bylaws. The AAUP wrote to UMW chancellor Beth Weatherby, taking the administration to task for its unwillingness to respect shared governance, specifically the role of the faculty in the evaluation of administrators. The letter was brought to the attention of Montana commissioner of higher education Clayton T. Christian, who wrote to Weatherby to reaffirm “the important role faculty play in the campus decision-making process,” as well as the importance of principles of shared governance. The commissioner further asserted, “We must ensure that all review processes of administrators, as well as faculty, are robust, fair, and consistent with system and campus policies.” The AAUP’s intervention helped to guarantee that shared governance remains strong at University of Montana Western. Read an account by two UMW faculty members here.
Faculty form campus AAUP chapters to defend and strengthen academic freedom and shared governance: On November 30, the Chronicle of Higher Education ran a story about the revitalization of AAUP chapters on campuses around the country (see it here). In the past two years, the AAUP has welcomed 42 new or revitalized advocacy chapters. Faculty are banding together to form or revitalize AAUP chapters as a collective response to attacks on academic freedom and shared governance. Members cite corporatization, legislative overreach, and the adjunctification of the profession as the reasons for joining together to form a chapter. The AAUP welcomes these chapters and looks forward to working with them on defending AAUP core principles and ensuring higher education as a common good.
We will continue to provide updates on the important work being done by the national AAUP and by our chapters and conferences over the next semester. In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy holiday!
Julie Schmid, AAUP Executive Director
assault on gender and gender studies
In October, we learned that the Trump administration is considering a new legal definition of gender under Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded education programs. Gender would be narrowly defined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable” as “a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth.”
The AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure and Committee on Women in the Academic Profession strongly condemn efforts to restrict the legal meaning of gender to what are said to be its natural or immutable forms. Biologists, anthropologists, historians, and psychologists have repeatedly shown that definitions of sex and sexuality have varied over time and across cultures and political regimes. The politicians promoting the new definition are neither scientists nor scholars. Their motives are ideological and their invocation of “science” is cynical.
The definition change also poses a potential threat to academic freedom, in that it could be used to deny research funding to scholars and to impugn the value and validity of their scholarly work. In a 2016 report, The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX, we wrote that a narrow focus on sexual injury can mask relations of inequity on and off campus and overshadow the prevalence of other conditions prohibited by Title IX, including uneven access to educational resources, wage disparities, and inequitable representation across the university system. We now reiterate the necessity of robust gender studies (its research and curriculum) as essential to addressing the goals of Title IX.
Read our full statement.
Rana Jaleel, chair, AAUP Committee on Women in the Academic Profession
Henry Reichman, chair, AAUP Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure
CUCFA and CA-AAUP support UC-FTA demands for recognition of UC librarians' academic freedom
August 18, 2018
President Janet Napolitano
University of California
1111 Franklin St., 12th Floor
Oakland, CA 94607
Joint statement by CUCFA and CA-AAUP:
On July 26, 2018 UC negotiators rejected a proposal by the UC-AFT Unit 17 that academic freedom be recognized as a right of all UC librarians as academic employees. UC negotiators reportedly argued that academic freedom is granted only to faculty and students “to enable free expression in the classroom,” that it is “a professional standard established by faculty, for faculty,” and that their position was consistent with “AAUP’s stance on Academic Freedom.”
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has rejected UC negotiators’ claims and clarified that since 1972 it has recognized librarians as faculty (Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians - https://www.aaup.org/sites/default/files/files/2013 Bulletin/librarians.pdf).
Specifically, the joint statement affirms that:
"College and university librarians share the professional concerns of faculty members. Academic freedom is indispensable to librarians in their roles as teachers and researchers. Critically, they are trustees of knowledge with the responsibility of ensuring the intellectual freedom of the academic community through the availability of information and ideas, no matter how controversial, so that teachers may freely teach and students may freely learn. Moreover, as members of the academic community, librarians should have latitude in the exercise of their professional judgment within the library, a share in shaping policy within the institution, and adequate opportunities for professional development and appropriate reward.
The Council of University of California Faculty Associations (CUCFA) and the California Conference of AAUP chapters (CA-AAUP) wholeheartedly agree with AAUP’s 1972 statement, recognize librarians as fellow faculty, and jointly support UC-AFT Unit 17’s request that all librarians be “entitled to academic freedom, as their primary responsibility to their institution and profession is to seek, state, and act according to the truth as they see it.”
CUCFA and CA-AAUP therefore urge UC President Napolitano to instruct UC negotiators to grant academic freedom to university librarians as they rightly deserve and have requested.
President, Council of UC Faculty Associations
cc: UC Regents
Earlier this week, the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that prevented the Trump administration from enforcing an executive order withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities and counties. These jurisdictions have passed laws putting limits on local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
The Ninth Circuit found the Trump administration overstepped its authority with the executive order because only Congress can put conditions on federal funds. The court explained “If [the administration] were to enforce the Executive Order, the Executive would assert a power that belongs solely to Congress by withdrawing funds in the absence of congressional authorization.”
In February, the AAUP joined with other groups, including members of the California Community College System, in filing an amicus brief opposing the executive order and supporting a permanent injunction preventing its enforcement.
The AAUP’s interest in the case stemmed from the potential application of the executive order to colleges and universities. Our brief argued that an extension would negatively impact colleges’ and universities’ ability to carry out their public mission and their interests in developing a diverse student body. Allowing the executive order to stand would also set a dangerous precedent for the proposition that the president may unilaterally use the threat of withholding federal funding in a broad and punitive manner as part of an effort to coerce colleges and universities to participate in federal immigration enforcement.
In the decision, the Ninth Circuit upheld the permanent injunction preventing enforcement of the order against the city and county of San Francisco and in California, but lifted the nationwide injunction and sent the case back to the lower court for a more searching inquiry into the need for such relief.
The Trump administration has not indicated whether it will appeal the decision. The AAUP will continue to follow the case and will keep you updated.
Thank you for supporting our legal work. If you’d like to deepen your support, donate to the AAUP Foundation’s Legal Defense Fund.
Risa Lieberwitz, AAUP General Counsel
Aaron Nisenson, AAUP Senior Counsel