AAUP@FHSU


President Trump Must Be Removed

The AAUP’s leadership issued the following statement yesterday.

Three days ago, while white supremacist, Trump-supporting insurrectionists stormed the United States Capitol, we wrote that we were appalled by the assault and noted that the current administration’s actions—over the long term but especially since the election of Joe Biden in November—are directly responsible for the attack on our democracy, for the lawlessness and violence, and for the deaths. Today we reflect on how we got here and how, from our perspective as higher education leaders, we move forward.

Donald Trump lost the election to Joe Biden, but Trump has not been willing to accept that fact. With the help of a toxic brew of right-wing “news” outlets, self-serving allies and enablers, and unregulated social media, lies and misinformation have been repeated and amplified to the point that facts and the truth are barely recognizable. It is neither honest nor truthful to promise a “peaceful transition of power,” as Trump did yesterday, while purposefully failing to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the election.

President Donald Trump incited an attack on the seat of our democracy while our elected representatives were inside conducting the people’s business. As we write, the inauguration of Joe Biden is eleven days away. The president does not accept reality, has been (temporarily) suspended from social media, and yet retains access to the nuclear codes. He presents a clear and present danger.

We call for the immediate removal of President Trump from office and fully support all legal efforts to remove him.

An educated citizenry is essential for a well-functioning democracy. The AAUP promotes higher education as a common good precisely because of its power to transform lives and improve society. The misinformation and conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on our Capitol must be met with truth, education, and critical thinking. In this era of social media, it is imperative that we as educators provide students and society with the tools needed to distinguish truth from falsehood. The AAUP will continue to fight against the decades-long disinvestment from public higher education that weakens our democracy.

We would be remiss not to underscore the structural racism so clearly evident in the events surrounding the siege on our Capitol. The comparison between the law enforcement response to peaceful Black Lives Matters protesters in Lafayette Park and to insurrectionists, some armed, who breached police lines and stormed the US Capitol, is not surprising to our colleagues of color and is now unmistakable to everyone except those who willfully refuse to see what’s right in front of them. We join so many others in calling out the obvious racism and in asking the harder question: how are we going to dismantle this system on which our country was built in order to work toward a shared national vision of a more perfect union? At the AAUP, our work on antiracism has just begun.

In the meantime, we call on our elected leaders to take the following steps.

  • Remove President Trump from office immediately, before more damage can be done.
  • Continue to look into the enormous failure of law enforcement to protect our Capitol, and the disparate police actions towards this week’s insurrectionists and last year’s mostly peaceful racial justice protests.
  • Hold to account those responsible for these failures, and enact legislation that reforms law enforcement in this country.
  • Hold to account those who enabled, assisted, or supported the president in the ludicrous claims of election fraud which provoked the attack on Congress.

We take comfort in the fact that our institutions of government were strong enough to withstand this attack and that the work of our Congress was delayed only for a few hours. We also note that the strength of our institutions of government depends on the strength of our system of education. With our members and chapters, we will continue to promote higher education as a common good in order to keep our democracy strong. We look forward to working with the new administration on policies that will provide affordable or free access to higher education to anyone willing to do the work to get a degree. Education as a common good, accessible to all, is the tool this nation needs to fight the rise of propaganda and conspiracy theories, and to address systematic inequalities.

Irene Mulvey, AAUP President
Paul Davis, AAUP Vice President
Christopher Sinclair, AAUP Secretary-Treasurer


Demand Support for Public Higher Education

Over the past two months, it has become clear that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on our states, our communities, and our campuses will be profound. As states grapple with the cost of fighting the pandemic, we are seeing significant cuts in state funding for higher education. In many states, these cuts come on the heels of decades of austerity measures that have already eroded our institutions’ academic missions and our ability to truly serve the common good. We have seen boards and administrations seize upon this crisis to subvert faculty involvement in decision-making and institute sweeping changes, such as academic restructuring, program discontinuance, and layoffs of faculty and staff at campuses in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Arkansas, to name a few.

When I wrote you on March 10, when the threat posed by the spread of the coronavirus in the United States was becoming apparent, I stated, “It is hard to know what the ultimate impact of COVID-19 will be on our campuses. The administration should provide the appropriate faculty body—the union or the governance body—with information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on enrollments, revenues, and hiring and renewals.” We must hold our governing boards and administrations to this standard as our campuses face very challenging financial choices. I urge you and your colleagues to work through your AAUP chapter, your governance body, and—where applicable—your faculty union to demand full transparency and full faculty involvement. I also urge you to stand in solidarity with faculty colleagues in contingent positions, graduate employees, and campus staff, many of whom are facing reduced appointments or layoffs.

We must also communicate with our elected representatives in Congress and call on them to support higher education and other vital public services. Many of our states and communities face serious financial shortfalls as a result of the pandemic. The ability of states to provide adequate funding for higher education and other public goods will be dependent upon the inclusion of relief for state and local governments in the next federal stimulus package. Please write to your US congressional representative and your senators and urge them to include relief for state and local governments in the next stimulus package.

The AAUP will continue to defend our members, our chapters, and the profession and will continue to provide webinars and guidance on all aspects of this crisis. We ask that chapters continue to share information with us about what is being done on their campuses and what the chapter or faculty senate’s role has been in decision-making related to COVID-19.

In solidarity,
Rudy Fichtenbaum
AAUP President


Tax Bill Makes Higher Ed Unaffordable: Sign the Petition

Will you join us in telling Congress not to make higher education unaffordable by taxing tuition waivers and eliminating the Student Loan Interest Deduction?

H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, if enacted as written, will have a severe negative impact on students and higher education in the US.

Tell 15 key members of Congress to protect students and vote no on the tax bill.

The legislation would repeal provisions exempting from taxation tuition waivers for campus employees and graduate students, causing a devastating tax increase for thousands and making it impossible for some to continue their studies.

The legislation would also repeal the current Student Loan Interest Deduction, causing an increased cost of roughly $24 billion to student borrowers over the next decade.

Sign the petition now. We’ll deliver it to the 15 members of Congress before the vote.

The AAUP