On November 8-9, the Ohio Conference welcomed members from across the state to Columbus for the 69th Annual Meeting.
At the November 8 reception, two exceptional, long-time AAUP leaders whose terms will be wrapping up at the end of this academic year were honored: AAUP President Rudy Fichtenbaum and OCAAUP President John McNay.
Speaking about Fichtenbaum, OCAAUP Executive Director Sara Kilpatrick recalled his rousing testimony against Senate Bill 5 in 2011, and commended him for his outstanding service as National AAUP President during challenging times.
Turning to McNay, Kilpatrick praised his activism over the last eight years as OCAAUP President, citing his numerous times testifying to the Ohio Legislature, op-eds written, organizing work, coalition meetings attended, and so much more.
Fichtenbaum and McNay each were presented with a plaque commemorating their long-time service.
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody J. Stewart — the first African American woman elected to the Court — spoke at the November 8 dinner. She shared her journey as an undergraduate music student to law student to ultimately running a positive, educational campaign for the Supreme Court.
During the November 9 business meeting, the assembly approved the 2020 budget, changes to the Code of Regulations, and three resolutions. Reports were given by the President, Executive Director, and chairs of the Government Relations, Committee A, and Pension Committees.
The keynote luncheon address was delivered by Professor Tom Nichols of the U.S. Naval War College and Harvard Extension School. Nichols spoke about his book, The Death of Expertise.
During his remarks, Nichols lamented today’s know-it-all society, in which real expertise is devalued and Americans seem to have an opinion on everything even when they know little to nothing on a particular subject.
In response to a question, Nichols recommended that people focus on their local communities in terms of trying to make a positive difference instead of being overwhelmed by the onslaught of national and international news.
The final piece of the program was a presentation by Wright State AAUP members Gretchen McNamara and John Martin about “lessons learned” from their recent strike.
McNamara and Martin discussed all aspects of the three-week strike at WSU — everything from the breakdown of negotiations to taking a strike vote to organizing picketing and even the emotional aspects of going through such an intense, high-stakes process.
Of the lessons learned from the experience, the presenters advised other collective bargaining chapters to have a strike fund, talked about the importance of having a united faculty and student activists, as well as the importance of communications with reporters and on social media.
Thank you to all members who attended and made this a successful and productive meeting! Mark your calendars for the 2020 meeting, slated for November 6-7 in Columbus.