AAUP@FHSU


Get Ready for Campus Equity Week!

Campus Equity Week is approaching! During this week, which runs from October 25 to 31, AAUP members and other activists hold actions to draw attention to the working conditions of faculty in contingent positions. We seek to make people aware of the reality that faculty in contingent positions, which constitute about three-fourths of the faculty positions in the US, typically work without job security, for low wages, and without access to the professional working conditions that support student learning.

This reality is something I know well. In addition to being an AAUP officer, I’m an adjunct faculty member in the Colorado Community College system, living paycheck to paycheck and facing significant debt. My story mirrors that of many contingent faculty across the country, and here in Colorado we’ll be sharing our stories during Campus Equity Week.

Interested in holding an event on your campus?

Visit the AAUP’s One Faculty, One Resistance page to find CEW resources and ideas for taking action on your campus.

The page includes an action packet for you to download and share with colleagues, students, and supporters at your campus. In it is a chart showing trends in the academic labor force from 1975 to 2015, when the number of part-time faculty increased rapidly, and an AAUP report entitled Tenure and Teaching-Intensive Appointments that examines the collapsing faculty infrastructure. It also contains posters about faculty working conditions you can post in your classroom or office.

I began teaching as an adjunct believing that this job would lead to full-time work. That didn’t happen. My story is shared by thousands of adjunct faculty across the country, and at times my colleagues are unjustifiably ashamed about our working conditions. They take this personally, as if they’ve failed. I’m always telling them, “You haven’t failed, the system has failed you.” And that’s something we’re working to change.

Let’s bring attention to the story of contingent faculty this Campus Equity Week!

Caprice Lawless
Adjunct faculty member, Front Range Community College
Second Vice President, AAUP


One Faculty, One Resistance

After last November’s election, we expressed our concern about unique threats posed by the new administration to core institutions of our democracy and to academic freedom. In the months since, we have seen these threats begin to unfold.

Faculty members are being targeted and harassed, the freedom to join together on the job is in jeopardy, and producers of independent thought and knowledge, including faculty, scientists, and journalists, are threatened. The academic year has begun with a spate of racist incidents on campus, another travel ban aimed primarily at Muslims, the decision to end the DACA program that grants residency to many of our students, and, just last Thursday, a decision by the Supreme Court to take up a case that could strip workers in unions of rights.

We believe that democracy thrives on dissent, critical inquiry, free speech, and free research. And that means that we must do more than witness these events; we must resist them.

That’s why we invite you to check out our One Faculty, One Resistance campaign.

The AAUP is the voice of the profession. As such, we’ve been speaking up for academic freedom for more than 100 years. And in these troubled times, we’re doing it with renewed urgency and vigor.

We’ve created a central space for our campaigns and materials related to these threats– materials to help you fight against targeted harassment of faculty and for the right to teach and conduct research freely, and to resist political interference and litmus tests in higher education.

Take a look around and share news of the campaign! A powerful resistance requires collective action and voice. Click here to share.

Graphic of the website

We’ll be in touch soon.

Rudy Fichtenbaum
President, AAUP


Action against the “travel ban” and a win for science

One of the things your membership supports is our work in the courts to protect academic freedom. I’m writing today to update you on recent legal developments.

Last night the AAUP joined with the American Council on Education and other higher education groups in an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court opposing the Trump administration’s travel ban. We argue that people from the six countries identified in the ban should not be barred or deterred from entering the United States and contributing to our colleges and universities.

As the brief notes, the ban has caused specific harm to higher education. From the moment the executive order containing the ban was signed, recruits were deterred from accepting faculty positions in the United States. Some scholars have pulled out of academic conferences here, either because they were directly affected by the ban or because they were concerned about its impact.

In the brief, we emphasize the international exchange of scholarly work, and explain how the ban “jeopardizes the vital contributions made by foreign students, scholars, and faculty by telling the world in the starkest terms that American colleges and universities are no longer receptive to them.”

The amicus brief is part of the AAUP’s continued work to combat the chilling effects that the administration’s border policies are having on faculty and higher education. We are also looking into legal issues related to a regulation that authorizes border patrol officers to search a traveler’s electronic devices at the borders without any basis for suspicion. In conjunction with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, we are seeking information from affected faculty members; if you have had an experience of this kind, please read more and submit information here.

Another facet of our legal work involves defending scientists against a campaign of harassment being carried out by a group that opposes climate science and has stated that it intends to “keep peppering universities around the country” with requests for climate science research records. On Friday, we got some good news as the Arizona Court of Appeals rejected attempts by this group to use public records requests to compel two University of Arizona faculty members to release emails related to their research.

In an amicus brief in support of the scientists, the AAUP had argued that state statute creates an exemption to public release of records for academic research records, and that a general statutory exemption protecting records when in the best interests of the state, in particular, the state’s interest in academic freedom, should have been considered. The appeals court agreed. Read more here.

Lastly, I’d like to take a minute to thank you for standing with the AAUP.  In busy times like this, it is important to remember that members like you make this work and our victories possible.

Regards,
Aaron Nisenson
AAUP Senior Counsel

P.S. Please consider supporting the legal defense of higher education through a donation to the AAUP’s Foundation’s Legal Defense Fund.


Trump Is Wrong to Eliminate DACA

The AAUP denounces in the strongest possible terms the decision by the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). This decision marks a continuation of the anti-immigrant racist policies that the administration has supported from the start.

Many of our members come from families that immigrated to the US. Their forebears came to the US for the same reason that today’s immigrants do, for a better life for their families, especially their children. But the Trump administration, feeding off the fears and insecurity of many Americans, has used the issue of undocumented workers, along with racism and anti-Semitism, to divide people and disguise the real causes of the declining standards of working people, including working people of color.

DACA, which provides renewable two-year work permits for immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, was created by President Obama after the Republican-led House of Representatives refused to act on immigration. About 1.9 million undocumented young people are eligible to apply for the DACA program. Nearly 800,000 had their request for DACA status granted in 2016. Of those who have DACA status, about 576,000 are enrolled in college. In other words, an overwhelming majority of those granted DACA status are our students.

One of the major factors that makes American higher education a world class system is the diversity of our faculty and students. We owe it to these students and their families, as well as to other undocumented young people, to speak out against this action in the strongest manner possible. We call on our members to urge Congress to act immediately to undo President Trump’s action and allow these young people to remain in our classrooms.

We also urge Congress to enact a comprehensive immigration reform policy that will welcome immigrants to our shores–those fleeing political persecution and violence as well as those who simply seek a better life, regardless of their race, religion, or national origin.

Rudy Fichtenbaum
AAUP President


FHSU AAUP: Notice of Meetings

Dear Colleagues,

The officers of FHSU AAUP wish to welcome new and returning faculty to the FHSU campus and to campuses at our partnership schools abroad.

We look forward to continuing the collegial goals of shared governance at FHSU by working closely with Administration, Faculty Senate, and with you—FHSU Faculty.

Monthly meetings of FHSU AAUP will begin September 12 in McCartney Hall 204, 3:30-4:30, and subsequent meetings will be held the second Tuesday of each month at this time and location, except for the last meeting in spring, which is scheduled for May 1st to avoid conflict with the Faculty Senate schedule.  The dates for subsequent AAUP Chapter meetings include Oct. 10Nov. 14Dec. 12Feb. 13Mar. 13Apr. 10, and May 1.

The email list of FHSU Unit Members is being updated to include new faculty, so please visit with your colleagues and encourage any faculty who have not received this email to contact me.  Also, faculty who have not yet joined the FHSU Chapter of AAUP and who may have questions prior to the first chapter meeting are encouraged to contact me or one of the FHSU AAUP Chapter officers listed at the end of this message.

As acknowledged on the national AAUP website, “Through the AAUP, faculty determine the principles of our profession and the procedures by which to protect them. When the AAUP speaks, it is the voice of the profession.”  To learn more about recent activities in shared governance at the national level, or to review AAUP member benefits, please visit www.aaup.org.  For more information about the FHSU Chapter of AAUP, please visit https://fhsu-aaup.org/.

Best Wishes,

Your FHSU-AAUP Leadership Team
Janett Naylor-Tincknell, FHSU-AAUP President
Tony Gabel, Vice-President & Chief Negotiator
Charlie Gnizak, Treasurer
Linda Smith, Secretary


Member resources from the AAUP

As we head into the fall term, I’m writing to make sure you know about resources that are available to you as an AAUP member. (Many require your website login. Forgot your password?)

Each semester, we offer webinars about topics of interest to faculty, ranging from the nuts and bolts of what should be in a faculty handbook to threats to academic freedom in the Trump era. You can watch recordings of past webinars here. Our first webinar of the fall semester will focus on digital organizing/issue organizing, and we’ll send you an e-mail when the date is set.

In response to political events in the past year, we have developed FAQs on the following topics:

We also offer informational resources on a variety of topics of interest to faculty and other academic professionals:

Members receive a subscription to Academe Magazine; this will be delivered to you electronically or you can opt in to the print edition.

We also offer insurance programs, described here.

Best wishes,
Gwendolyn Bradley
AAUP External Relations Director


AAUP Statement Regarding Charlottesville

Our hearts broke this weekend as we watched expressions of racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred on the University of Virginia campus result in violence. We are especially saddened by the death of one activist and the wounding of others. Expressions of racism and hatred paired with violent actions are not new in our country. Our history shows that marchers armed with guns and sticks, carrying shields and torches, and chanting Nazi slogans have but one purpose: to strike fear and terror in the hearts of people of color, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and all who believe in a more inclusive America.

To remain silent in the face of hatred is to be complicit in that hatred. Therefore, we will not remain silent while white supremacists, emboldened by the rhetoric of the Trump administration, perpetrate violence and incite bigotry. After equivocating, the President has finally denounced the KKK, the Nazis, and other white supremacist groups. But he and his administration must do more. We call on the Trump administration to use all of the forces at its disposal to bring to justice those involved in fomenting violence and terror. Further, we call on the President and his administration to denounce all attempts to equate nonviolent protests like Black Lives Matter with violent hate groups.

We decry the violence, the discrimination, and the attempts to intimidate, silence, and harm our students, educators, and community members. We reject racism and white supremacy. We stand with students, educators, their families, and communities across the country working for equitable and welcoming environments where it is safe to exist, learn, and peacefully disagree and debate. We will work with faculty members, students, and college leaders, uniting and organizing with allies and in our communities to resist hate and fight for a just society.

Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president
Henry Reichman, AAUP first vice president