Last Tuesday, Ohio voters went to the polls and a majority elected Mike DeWine as governor. This is not the result for which we had hoped, as we believed the state and higher education would be better served under a Richard Cordray administration.
For the last eight years, we have faced attack after attack by a unified Republican government. For example, Gov. Kasich and the legislature tried to completely eliminate meaningful collective bargaining for all public employees, but would have eliminated collective bargaining rights outright for faculty, through Senate Bill 5 in 2011.Subsequently, they inserted into successive budget bills this same “Yeshiva” language that would have, in effect, defined all faculty as managers and thus eliminated our collective bargaining rights.
In addition, funding for higher education still has not been restored to pre-recession levels all while tuition has been restrained. This has left our institutions with difficult financial decisions, and often has led to reductions in faculty, hiring more adjuncts, stagnant wages, benefit reductions, and contentious collective bargaining contracts. They also have introduced language calling for a minimum teaching load for tenured faculty; have attempted to restrict faculty from offering our own textbooks in our classes; and tried to reduce our sick leave.
This is why the OCAAUP Board believed it to be important to endorse Cordray/Sutton, as they would have been a balance on a misguided General Assembly. No monetary donations accompanied this endorsement. All of OCAAUP’s funds are strictly used for operational purposes and not for political donations.
The next four years will be challenging, just as the last eight have been. The Ohio Conference will continue to be vigilant in monitoring legislation and trying to educate lawmakers about faculty issues and the broader higher education landscape. We will need our members help in reaching out to their own representatives and senators to amplify our messages.
This may start as early as this week, when the current General Assembly enters what is known as “lame duck” session, which is often characterized by swift approval of controversial and contentious bills. In fact, the public sector “right-to-work” bill — HB 53 — will be getting a hearing at 1:00 pm today in Statehouse Room 313. In addition, later this week, several bills will be heard in the House Higher Education Committee, including HB 758, which would force institutions of higher education to host any speaker on campus.
As always, we will keep our members posted.
John McNayPresident, OCAAUP
Thank you to everyone who attended the Annual Meeting in Columbus this past weekend!
Among the business that took place was approval of our 2019 budget, changes to our “Code of Regulations,” which will make certain positions on the National AAUP Council ex-officio members of our Board, and approval of the following resolutions:
2018 Annual Meeting Resolution 1 – Increased State Funding2018 Annual Meeting Resolution 2 – OCOG Funding2018 Annual Meeting Resolution 3 – Instruction First
Christopher Newfield (pictured), professor of English at the University of California, Santa-Barbara, and author of The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them, delivered the keynote address via video conference. Newfield discussed his book and talked about ways that we might be able to address these issues with legislators, so that universities are once again viewed as public goods and not entities to “corporatize.”
In accordance with our Code of Regulations, this will serve as our call for nominations for the 2019 OCAAUP elections. The positions to be elected in 2019 are:
-Vice President-Treasurer-At-Large Member from a public institution with less than 100 members or a private institution
The Vice President serves in the absence of the President and serves as a delegate to the National AAUP Annual Meeting and the Assembly of State Conferences Annual Meeting. The Treasurer also serves as a delegate to the Assembly of State Conferences Annual Meeting and is responsible for overseeing the Conference’s finances.
To nominate yourself or another member, or if you have any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations are due by January 15, 2019.