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New Episodes of AAUP Presents

It has been a busy week at the AAUP, and our podcast AAUP Presents is back with two new episodes!

On Saturday, the AAUP’s governing Council voted unanimously to add Indiana University Northwest to the Association’s list of censured administrations. In a new episode we discuss the AAUP’s investigative report about the case, which revolved around the summary suspension and dismissal of Dr. Mark McPhail. The investigation found that in acting against McPhail the administration disregarded AAUP-supported standards of academic due process. Investigators found “highly credible” McPhail’s allegation that the administration’s actions were prompted by his criticism of the administration’s handling of racial equity issues and therefore violated his academic freedom. Here’s a direct link.

The episode features Afshan Jafar, professor of sociology at Connecticut College and the chair of the investigating committee for the report, and Mark Criley, senior program officer in the AAUP’s Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance, who staffed the investigation.

In the next podcast episode, we look at what last week’s student debt relief cases before the Supreme Court mean for faculty. Risa Lieberwitz, the AAUP’s general counsel and a professor of labor and employment law at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and Jenna Sablan, the AAUP’s senior program officer for government relations, weigh in on what happened at the high court and what’s ahead on the debt relief front. Here’s the link to the podcast.

You can find these episodes (and all previous ones) here on our website.

We’ll have more episodes for you this month. Make sure you subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred platform to get notified when new episodes are released.

Thanks for listening,
Mariah Quinn, Digital Organizer, AAUP

New Episodes of AAUP Presents Out Now

Our podcast AAUP Presents is back with two new episodes, featuring interviews with authors of recent articles in the Journal of Academic Freedom and Academe.

In the first episode, I sit down with Lori Latrice Martin, a professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Louisiana State University, to discuss what Professor Martin describes as the “predictability of efforts to silence conversations and actions related to combating anti-Blackness in America and the continued use of Black deaths to further the social, economic, and political progress of non-Black groups in the academy and beyond” in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. Listen here.  

In the second new episode, I talk to Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, an associate professor of history at Loyola University Chicago, and Charlie Eaton, an associate professor of sociology at the University of California, Merced, about the past, present and future of the student debt crisis in the United States. It’s a fascinating history that has brought us to a pivotal moment where debt forgiveness and a path to a debt-free future seems possible, but remains fraught with political and social barriers.Here’s the episode (with links to listen on your preferred podcast platform).

Both are fascinating and thorny topics; give them a listen. You can find these episodes (and all previous ones) here on our website.

We’ll have more episodes for you in 2023.

Enjoy the holidays,
Mariah Quinn, Digital Organizer, AAUP

podcast@aaup (2022 ep1): Student Debt and the Fight for Florida

In our first new episode of 2022, I talk to Kaitlyn Vitez, federal government relations specialist in AAUP’s national office, and Jessica Sponsler, art historian and adjunct professor and AAUP’s Pennsylvania state conference president, about student debt and its impact on faculty and higher education. With more than 45 million borrowers saddled with $1.7 trillion dollars in debt, a movement to cancel debt and expand opportunities for debt forgiveness is underway as the return to repayment of federal loans, paused during the pandemic, looms in May. Listen here.

In episode five of our inaugural season, I sit down with Paul Ortiz, professor of history at the University of Florida and president of the United Faculty of Florida-UF to talk about ongoing attacks on academic freedom in Florida and how the faculty from the University of Florida has fought back against what Paul calls “anticipatory obedience,” awakening a growing movement of faculty who are ready to, as he puts it “get their hands dirty” and fight political and legislative attempts to diminish faculty right and chill academic freedom. Here’s the episode.

We stay in Florida for the sixth episode. The AAUP’s Kelly Benjamin talks to Michele Rayner, a member of the Florida House of Representatives, about attacks on academic freedom, the motivation for anti-critical race theory bills, and the state of the broader political situation in Florida. Play that episode here.

The episodes are on the AAUP website at aaup.org/aaup-presents, where you’ll find links to listen to them on major platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. We plan to release more episodes this spring. Have an idea for an episode? Email me at mquinn@aaup.org with your suggestions.

Happy listening.

Mariah Quinn
Digital Organizer, AAUP

Episode logo in a graphic

How has two years without student debt affected you?

The past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have been challenging ones for American higher education. And, given how 2022 has started, we have many more fights ahead of us to protect faculty and quality education.

There is one bright spot. The pause on federal student loan repayment has given Americans much-needed breathing room as the pandemic threatens livelihoods and economic recovery. Let’s keep it going. Join with our partners at the Debt Collective, and tell President Biden to cancel student debt today.

We’ve heard from borrowers what this pause on federal student loan repayment has meant for them. The student debt crisis is part and parcel of the faculty labor crisis, and adjunctification has made it more difficult for faculty to pay back their loans. Beyond faculty, we all know staff whose hours were reduced or eliminated, students who graduated into a turbulent job market, or friends and family who are struggling to pay the bills in a time of high inflation. Imagine what a world without student debt would look like!

I recently talked about the student debt crisis on our podcast, AAUP Presents, with AAUP Pennsylvania state conference president Jessica Sponsler. You can listen to that here.

While there are some promising signs that the Biden administration may fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program and hold bad loan servicers accountable, more needs to be done. At the very least, we need another extension of the repayment pause while student loan reforms are implemented. Beyond that, our leaders need to clear out student debt and chart a path toward free college for all. Sign on to a letter to President Biden today, telling him to cancel student debt.

Thanks for taking action.

Kaitlyn Vitez, AAUP Government Relations

Graphic of AAUP Presents podcast with link to episode.