Thank you to all members and staff who attended the 65th Ohio Conference AAUP Annual Meeting in Columbus.
We had a great event. State Representatives Fred Strahorn, Denise Driehaus and Dan Ramos joined us at the Friday, November 6 evening reception, where our University of Cincinnati chapter presented campaign donations. Those legislators have been loyal allies and played a critical role in removing the anti-faculty language in the state budget bill. Friday events were rounded out with Hank Reichman’s thought-provoking speech “To Tweet or Not to Tweet? A Question of Academic Freedom,” which explored issues with faculty statements on social media.
The Saturday, November 7 luncheon was headlined by Aaron Calafato’s compelling monologue performance “For Profit,” which focused on his personal student debt struggles and his time working for a for-profit college. Calafato evoked both laughter and tears from the audience, as he humanized what we often only see outlined in statistics and generalizations.
During the business meeting portion of the event, the proposed change to the Conference’s Code of Regulations was passed unanimously. As a result of this change, each chapter and bargaining unit with 100 members or more will have a seat on the State Conference Board. Previously, the Code specified only “chapter” representation, which failed to recognize that some chapters have two distinct bargaining units.
In addition, four resolutions were passed by acclamation. See the text below.
Whereas the Ohio Conference AAUP has concerns over textbook costs;
Whereas House Bill 160 does not address how we might be able to control those costs;
Whereas the royalties that faculty collect from authoring texts is typically a small percentage, usually averaging around ten percent;
Whereas the protection of academic freedom is the core mission of the AAUP, and faculty should exercise the freedom to teach without fear of retribution;
Whereas faculty who teach at our state institutions of higher education are experts in their fields; therefore, to provide students with the highest quality of instruction, faculty should maintain the right to select the most appropriate texts, including those they have authored, as required course materials;
Whereas enactment of HB 160 would likely install an extra level of bureaucracy at our state universities and perhaps at the Ohio Department of Higher Education, therefore confounding further the problem of administrative growth;
Whereas government enters very dangerous territory, one that borders on censorship, when it starts to regulate which books can and cannot be assigned at our institutions of higher education;
Be it resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP strongly opposes House Bill 160 and any efforts to control the textbooks that faculty can require as course materials.
Whereas members of the Ohio Conference AAUP harbor a grave concern that our colleagues in Wisconsin have lost tenure protections and collective bargaining rights;
Whereas the members of the Ohio Conference AAUP believe that for faculty to enjoy academic freedom, tenure and the right to collective bargaining are tantamount to the pursuit of this endeavor;
Whereas we contend that an uninhibited and fully functioning public education is the cornerstone to a thriving democracy;
Be it resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP fully supports our colleagues in the great state of Wisconsin as they attempt to rebound from the changes which threaten their ability to provide sound, quality education.
Whereas the Ohio Conference AAUP has a commitment to the safety and welfare of its members and their students, and to the educational missions of its members’ institutions;
Whereas Ohio House Bill 48 would open the door for conceal/carry permit holders to carry their weapons onto public and private college campuses;
Whereas the National AAUP passed a resolution in 2008 which stated:
College and universities closely control firearms and prohibit conceals guns on their campuses because they regard the presence of weapons as incompatible with their educational missions. The Ninety-fourth Annual Meeting of the American Association of University Professors endorses the reliance of colleges and universities on trained and equipped professional law-enforcement personnel to respond to emergency incidents. We call upon state legislative bodies to refrain from interfering with decisions that are properly the responsibility of the academic community.
Be it resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP opposes Ohio House Bill 48 and other efforts that would allow firearms to be carried onto college campuses.
Whereas an analysis of the effectiveness of institutions of higher learning indicated that the ideal ratio for full-time faculty to each administrator should be three to one;[i]
Whereas accrediting agencies recognize that having many more full-time faculty versus part-time faculty typically indicates a greater likelihood of high-quality instruction;
Whereas institutions of higher education should exercise caution in achieving balance between full-time and part-time faculty as to avoid the exploitation of either party while seeking to provide the highest quality of instruction;
Whereas guidance in achieving the aforementioned balance can be found by referencing an AAUP report on the “Status of Part-Time Faculty;”[ii]
Whereas part-time faculty are often hired to offset the cost of hiring more administrators;
Be it resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP requests a close examination by the Ohio General Assembly of ratios of full-time faculty to administrators;
Be it further resolved that the Ohio Conference AAUP calls upon the U.S. Congress and the Ohio General Assembly to consider ratios of full-time faculty to both administrators and part-time faculty as critical factors for providing high-quality education.
[ii] AAUP Report: Status of Part-Time Faculty: http://www.aaup.org/report/status-part-time-faculty.