Grant Opportunities for Faculty Under Attack

Grant money is now available through National AAUP when individual faculty need financial support when seeking legal advice.

Below is a message from Henry Reichman, Chair of AAUP.

Faculty, even those with tenure, are feeling vulnerable these days. Increasingly under attack—from legislators who want to abolish tenure or withhold funding for controversial courses, from overzealous governing boards, and even from students who might accuse them of radicalism on the Professor Watchlist website—faculty sometimes feel compelled to self-censor or to change the way they teach. The time is now to stand up for academic freedom and the importance of higher education in a free and democratic society.

Through our grant programs, the AAUP Foundation supports individual faculty members who need legal or financial assistance after being terminated without due process. Foundation grants also support faculty engagement in shared governance, academic conferences, and other professional opportunities and provide critical funding for the AAUP’s work on academic freedom and faculty governance, costs that membership dues alone cannot cover.

Learn about the AAUP Foundation’s grant funds and guidelines.

A recent Academic Freedom Fund grant provided replacement income for part-time instructor of philosophy Nathanial Bork, who was summarily dismissed by the Community College of Aurora after saying he would send a report to the college’s accreditor criticizing its new Gateway to Success curriculum. Mr. Bork claimed that new requirements to lower standards in “gatekeeper” courses necessary for transferring to four-year institutions would inadequately prepare students for college-level work. His dismissal was the subject of an investigation by the AAUP’s Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which receives funding from the AAUP Foundation for investigations and reports. Delegates at the 2017 AAUP Annual Meeting will vote on whether or not to add the Community College of Aurora to the AAUP’s list of censured institutions.

Apply for the next round of AAUP Foundation grants by June 30.

The AAUP Foundation Legal Defense Fund supports faculty members in cases at the trial and appellate levels that implicate important legal rights, involve legal issues of national significance in higher education, and affect the careers of academics. Grant recipient Robin Meade—dismissed by Moraine Valley Community College after sending a letter criticizing the college’s treatment of adjunct faculty—won a settlement that affirmed the free speech rights of contingent faculty. And a New York Supreme Court ruling allowed grant recipients Marie Monaco and Herbert Samuels to continue their case challenging New York University Medical School’s salary reduction policy, used to slash their salaries after their net grant income declined due to loss of research data in Superstorm Sandy. Such legal victories make a difference for the academic profession as well as for individual faculty.

The AAUP Foundation also supports educational programs that advance the cause of academic freedom. We recently awarded a grant to Scholars at Risk—an international network that protects scholars and promotes academic freedom—for its Scholar Transition Program, which will provide training for higher education professionals who are the victims of external political upheaval. Academic freedom must not be subject to the whims of those in power—whether abroad or in this country.

Best regards,
Henry Reichman,
Chair, AAUP Foundation

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Reclaiming Higher Education for All North Carolinians: A Vision Statement of the NC AAUP

The full statement includes explanations of each point in the vision and may be viewed and downloaded here:

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The preamble and outline of the statement follow:

At a time when the basic principles governing higher education throughout the country and in our state are being challenged, we, as professors in North Carolina universities, feel compelled to reaffirm our core beliefs. We speak not merely as private individuals and members of a profession, but as guardians of the public trust, whose responsibility it is, whether we teach at public or private institutions, to educate our citizens and promote knowledge. We hold the following educational principles to be self-evident and integral to the wellbeing and dignity of all North Carolinians:

Outline of our vision:

  1. Higher education is a human right that must be available to all NC citizens.
  2. State funding for the core academic mission of public higher education must be restored and must prioritize academics.
  3. The principle of shared governance is essential to preserving higher education’s core mission and values.
  4. A diverse range of course offerings and academic programs must be offered at each UNCG campus.
  5. Research must be a system-wide priority.
  6. Faculty must earn a living wage.
  7. Academic freedom remains essential to higher education’s mission.

 

Film Screening of ‘Starving the Beast’

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Highly Acclaimed Film on Threats to Public Higher Education Screened at UNCG

Why is college tuition increasing at alarming rates, causing crushing educational debts for many North Carolina students? Why are college courses increasingly taught by part-time faculty? What are the troubling consequences of our state legislature increasingly reducing the funding of higher education for the public good?

In Starving the Beast, Director Steve Mims lays out with calm, terrifying clarity how wealthy individuals like Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers are leading a concerted effort to transform taxpayer-funded institutes of learning and research into profit-making ventures in which students are passive consumers and universities are service providers.

University faculty, students, and staff along with the citizens of the Triad must see this critically important and timely documentary that will be shown at UNCG in the Elliott University Center Auditorium on Monday, January 30, 2017, at 6 pm.

Following the film, Gene Nichol, who is the Boyd Tinsley distinguished professor of law at UNC-Chapel Hill and the principal faculty member from the UNC system interviewed in the movie, will lead a discussion.

This film screening is free; however, donations will be welcomed at the door.

This event is co-sponsored by the UNCG Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), UNCG Faculty Senate, UNCG Graduate Student Association, and UNCG Humanities Network & Consortium.

Contact:
Susan Dennison
President, UNCG AAUP Chapter
stdennis@uncg.edu

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UNCG Recommendations for NC State AAUP Statement Essential Elements for Future Higher Education in North Carolina

UNCG Recommendations for NC State AAUP Statement

A group of our members met last week and had a lengthy discussion on what should be part of NC higher education in the future.  The group agreed that it would be important to prepare two documents.  One would be a more formal document that delineates in detail what is essential for higher education to carry out its pubic mission.  The second document should be a shorter version of the first one that is intend to be a press release and written so the general public will quickly understand what we are promoting and supporting for NC higher education as an organization.  You may also want to create YouTube that provides this same message in a different format.


Format of the Longer Official Statement

We suggest that this document have essentially three sections.  The first part would introduce AAUP and its primary contributions to higher education particularly in regard to shared governance and academic freedom.  In this same introduction it would be helpful to indicate the rationale for this official statement from NC AAUP on what should be part of higher education in this state in the future.

The second or middle section of this report should list in concise but clear terms what essentially ensures that higher education is accomplishing its primary public mission.

The last section or closing should summarize what is contained in this statement and indicate what we intend to do with it in terms of distribution and elicitation of support for it from other stakeholders involved in higher education.

 

Essentials elements to include in the middle section of the document

  • Ensure that all citizens, without discrimination, have equitable access to college education
  • Make tuition affordable, even free if possible, and place limits on student fees which are currently driving up total cost to attend NC colleges
  • Support, reinstate, and expand tenure track faculty positions (provide rationale for quality of education, continuity of academic programs and advising/working with students, conducting research and contributing to our knowledge base, and securing grants to further fund cutting edge research)
  • Standardize contingent/adjunct/clinical faculty positions in terms of salary, job security, and establishment of ranks for advancement.
  • Support HBCUs while providing assistance when needed in order to maintain essential academic standards
  • Recognize the importance of higher education institutions generating new knowledge not just focusing on economic growth
  • Support and endorse the preparation/education of students for future careers not just the current job market
  • Support and endorse the importance of universities teaching students critical thinking skills so they are better prepared for any career and better prepared as citizens of this state/country.
  • Endorse and support the importance of the humanities at our universities and provide rationale
  • Oppose NC legislature over-reaching involvement in higher education and clarify why this needs to stop and why it is important for the public good that universities retain a level of independence
  • Endorse and support shared governance at all NC universities so faculty have an integral role in all decisions impacting the curriculum and teaching
  • Endorse and support academic freedom for faculty and students and provide rationale

You may find it helpful to quote from AAUP some points regarding academic freedom and shared governance.

2016 Year Overview and Future Plans

UNCG AAUP Chapter

Plan for 2016/2017

 

  • August 16, 2016:        Sponsored booth at new faculty resource fair

 

  • September 14, 2016:        Co-sponsored reception for new faculty at Provost Convocation

 

  • September 22, 2016:       Business meeting of AAUP Executive Committee

 

  • October 13, 2016:           Marketing support for Agents of Change Film

 

  • October 15, 2016:           Attendance at & support of NC State AAUP Annual Conference at Meredith College with Samuel Dunietz presentation:  Mobilizing for NC Higher Education

 

  • November 10, 2016:       Meeting of all UNCG AAUP members to contribute to NC State AAUP Chapter’s official statement on what is essential for the future of higher education in NC

 

  • January 16, 2017:           Happy/Welcome back to Spring Semester Piano Concert with Andrew Willis followed by a reception

 

  • January 30, 2017:           Co-sponsoring documentary Starving the Beast with UNCG Faculty Senate, UNCG Graduate Student Organization, & UNCG Humanities Network and Consortium.

 

  • February 15, 2017:         Possible panel on How to Preserve Shared Governance at UNCG held during part of the Faculty Senate sponsored Faculty Forum (could also be held during the March 22nd Faculty Forum)

 

  • End of Year:                   Chapter may sponsor or co-sponsor an end of the year reception for all UNCG faculty-date TBA

NC AAUP Annual Conference October 14-15, 2016

On behalf of Dr. Jim Carmichael, President of the NC AAUP, we extend a cordial invitation to attend the 2016 NC Conference Meeting at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC.  Dr. Jo Allen, President of Meredith College, will hold a reception for the conference at her campus residence on Friday, October 14 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm. Conference activities formally begin on Saturday, October 15 with registration, coffee, and continental breakfast from 8:00 AM. The program begins at 9:00. The keynote speaker, Samuel J. Dunietz, Research and Policy Analyst at AAUP National, will conduct a workshop on Political Mobilizing for NC Higher Education (A Non-Union State).  After lunch, there will be a short business meeting, including elections, followed by a discussion on how to apply what we have learned into an action plan for NCAAUP.
 
We hope you will be able to attend the various facets of the conference and join in discussion around organizing efforts to promote positive policies for NC higher education. Whether you are a faculty member affiliated with a public or private institution, a non-tenure track faculty member, or a teaching graduate student, we encourage you to attend and give voice to your interests, ideas, and concerns for the welfare of the professorate.
 
Attached to this e-mail is a timetable of the conference with locations and an RSVP form indicating which parts you will be able to attend. Please return the completed form to Chase Hanes at cthanes@uncg.edu by October 3rd, 2016. Also attached is a map of Meredith College with pertinent buildings circled and a more detailed map showing the way to Massey House.
 
We look forward to seeing you at the NC AAUP 2016 Conference!

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