AAUP LA State Conference Newsletter – January 2019

Louisiana Conference of the AAUP

December 1 Meeting

The Conference met Saturday, December 1 at LSU-Alexandria. Six of the eight Executive Committee members were present: Leslie Bary, President (UL Lafayette), Hugh F. Wilson, Vice President (Grambling State U), Sudhir Trivedi, Secretary and Chair, Committee A (Southern U-Baton Rouge), Kevin Cope, At-Large (LSU-Baton Rouge), Ravi Rau, Past President (LSU-Baton Rouge), and Brian Salvatore (LSU-Shreveport). Also attending were Brooks Ellwood, First Vice President of AAUP at the national level (LSU-Baton Rouge) and additional representatives from Grambling State U, LSU-Alexandria, LSU-Baton Rouge, LSU-Eunice, LSU-Shreveport, Southern U-Baton Rouge, Southern U-Shreveport, Tulane U of Louisiana, UL Lafayette, and Xavier U of Louisiana.

The President’s Report included a discussion of donations and finances; the AAUP Summer Institute; the website of the Louisiana Conference; a report/discussion on the visit of Christopher Newfield; a discussion of updated plans for speakers; and the suggestion to designate liaisons to the state conference Committee A at campuses without chapters.

Following consultation with Monica Owens, Political Organizer for AAUP National, it was decided to draft a resolution both ALFS (Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates) and AAUP as well as other entities could support, that could be used to organize for AAUP and also to work toward changing the conversation on higher education in Louisiana. We decided the issue should be restoration of state funding of higher education for the public good. Work on wording will take place at the February 2 meeting.

February 2 Meeting

We will meet at LSU-Alexandria Saturday, February 2. On the agenda is:

  1. Work on the resolution.
  2. Preparation for the March ASC meeting and National Council meeting: what is the reaction from regular Conference members to the proposed changes to the governance structure of AAUP? Louisiana AAUP members on ASC and National Council (Bary, Carroll, Ellwood) would like to hear any thoughts others may have, including but not limited to:

– the new districts, are they drawn well, or would you suggest adjustments?
– delegate voting and its implications; are there alternatives?
– the new “national” chapter (for members without chapters) – how will it interface with the state conferences, in activities such as voting for national council, Committee A work, etc.?

  1. Committee A liaisons.
  2. Plans for upcoming speakers and events.

News and Upcoming

Congratulations are extended to Xavier University members, who formed an AAUP chapter in Fall, 2018, and to the LSU-Alexandria membership who will be doing the same this spring. Organizing takes work and we are grateful to our colleagues on both campuses. We are pleased as well to be in closer touch with our colleagues at Tulane who are doing good work at both the uptown and downtown campuses.

Leslie Bary and Brooks Ellwood will attend the Assembly of State Conferences meeting in Atlanta March 2, and will report back to this body. Along with Linda Carroll, they will attend the National Council meeting in late March. Both of these meetings are on changes in the AAUP governance structure, and will have implications for us.

We have applied to the Academic Freedom Fund of the AAUP Foundation for monies to cover some of the costs to the Conference of the Christopher Newfield visit.

Five members of AAUP and/or ALFS (Leslie Bary, UL Lafayette, Matthew Butkus, McNeese State U, Jana Giles, UL Monroe, Dayne Sherman, Southeastern Louisiana U, and Hugh F. Wilson, Grambling State U) will present on “Higher Education as Public Good” at the University of Louisiana System Conference to be held February 14-15 at UL Lafayette.

We will be sending a representative to the AAUP Summer Institute in 2019 (Leslie Bary attended in 2015 and Brian Salvatore in 2018); it should be someone who has not attended before. Discussion will begin as soon as we have news of the location and dates of this summer’s Institute.

The state conference Committee A was consulted on tenure and academic freedom issues by two tenured and one tenure-track faculty member at Louisiana universities in 2018. The national Committee A gave assistance on one of these cases and on another case in the Community College system.

We look forward to seeing you February 2.

Leslie Bary
2018-2020 President
Louisiana Conference AAUP

AAUP Welcomes Christopher Newfield in Lafayette and Baton Rouge

For much of the twentieth century in the United States a college education provided a path to middle-class status, and formed productive citizens. Can it still? What can we do to help ensure access to colleges and universities? Also, what do colleges and universities do for people who are not students? How can our increasingly privatized institutions continue to serve the public at large?
Dr. Christopher Newfield, Professor of English at the University of California-Santa Barbara and author of The great mistake: how we wrecked public universities, and how to fix them (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016) will speak at UL Lafayette Thursday, October 25 on “Fixing the great mistake: American universities in 2050.” The lecture, free and open to everyone, is at 5:30 PM in 112 Olivier Hall. The funding crisis and the role of the university in society are key topics. Students, parents, administrators, staff, faculty in all fields, and anyone concerned about rising tuition, debt, and the public role of universities are warmly invited.

Dr. Newfield will also speak at LSU, Baton Rouge, Friday, October 26, at the Paul M. Hébert Law Center, 3:30 to 5:30 PM, Room 110. The lecture, free and open to everyone. Both events are sponsored by the Louisiana Conference of the American Association of University Professors.

Newfield’s earlier books include The Emerson effect: individualism and submission in America (Chicago, 1996), Ivy and industry: business and the making of the American university, 1880-1980 (Duke, 2003), and Unmaking the public university: the forty year assault on the middle class (Harvard, 2008). His writing engages American political psychology, race relations, and the power of humanities-based research. In addition to more traditional material in English, his teaching includes courses on innovation studies, global California, the future of higher education, and English majoring after college. He blogs on higher education funding and policy at Remaking the University, the Huffington Post, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. His current book project is Lowered education: what to do about our downsized future. The lecture at UL Lafayette is based on research for this book.

Dr. Newfield’s The great mistake was published in 2016 and has just come out in paperback. The book addresses the crisis in U.S. higher education, as college becomes more and more of a necessity while tuition rises, and students and families suffer from unprecedented debt. How did this happen, and what can we do about it? What impacts does this situation have on society at large? Newfield combines firsthand experience with expert analysis to show how business-minded practices have increased costs and reduced the university’s value to society. He argues that higher education is a public good and must be treated as such.

[notes prepared by Leslie Bary, Department of Modern Languages, Vice-President, UL Lafayette Chapter, AAUP and President, Louisiana Conference, AAUP]

AAUP LA State Conference Newsletter – September 10, 2018

AAUP LA State Conference Newsletter – September 10, 2018

Louisiana members in national leadership Brooks Ellwood, Robey Clark Professor in Geology at LSU-Baton Rouge and incoming Chair of the Department of Geology and Geophysics, has been elected First Vice-President of AAUP at the national level. Linda Carroll, Professor Emerita of Italian at Tulane University, has elected to an at-large seat on National Council. Leslie Bary, Assistant Professor of Spanish at UL Lafayette, continues as District V Representative on National Council. Her article on organizing for AAUP is in the September/October issue of Academe.

Louisiana chapters and membership Congratulations are extended to the AAUP members at Southern University in Baton Rouge, who organized as a chapter this spring. Statewide membership in AAUP at about 160. There are active chapters at LSU-BR, UL Lafayette, SU-BR, and SU-Shreveport, and reorganizing chapters at Tulane and Loyola-NO. We seek members at every institution, whether or not it has a chapter of its own, and we invite participation at the state conference level from everyone. LSU-Alexandria members plan to organize as a chapter in Spring, 2019.

State conference leadership Elections for the 2018-2020 term were held at the April, 2018 meeting in Alexandria, and committee chairs were chosen. The current Executive Committee of the Conference is:

Leslie Bary, President (UL Lafayette), lbary@louisiana.edu
Hugh F. Wilson, Vice President (Grambling), wilsonh@gram.edu
Sudhir Trivedi, Secretary and Chair, Committee A (Southern), sudhir_trivedi@subr.edu
Michael Homan, Treasurer (Xavier), mhoman@xula.edu
Kevin Cope, At-Large (LSU-BR), encope@lsu.edu
Ravi Rau, Past President (LSU-BR), arau@physics.lsu.edu
Brian Salvatore, Chapter Services (LSU-S), brian.salvatore@lsus.edu
Dayne Sherman, Chair, Outreach and Communication (SELU), daynesherman@yahoo.com

State conference activities In February Howard Bunsis, Professor of Accounting at Eastern Michigan University, and a member of AAUP national leadership, visited LSU and UL Lafayette and presented analyses of our financial situations. A visit to Southern University in Baton Rouge is projected. Bunsis’ analyses are rich and multifaceted, and we have yet to fully process their implications. Chapters are encouraged to take this up, as the independent analysis of finances is a tool for organizing.

At the April meeting we decided to move into a clearer and more collaborative relationship with the ALFS (Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates) network, again for purposes of organizing.  There are now AAUP presentations at every ALFS meeting, the first having been a roundtable on AAUP history and the benefits of membership at the September 8, 2018 ALFS meeting with Brooks Ellwood, Brian Salvatore and Leslie Bary. Also in spring generous donation was made to the Conference by Baton Rouge supporters. We decided to fund a series of speakers over the next two years. This is to draw attention to national issues, energize our chapters and attract new members.

In the summer Brian Salvatore attended the national AAUP Institute at the University of New Hampshire, funded by the national organization and the state conference. This event provides training in AAUP issues as well as organizing and networking. We hope to receive national funding for a representative next year; the state conference will cover transportation costs for that representative and may be able to do so for an additional delegate. Brooks Ellwood attended the retreat of the national Executive Committee, and Leslie Bary attended the National Council meeting and the AAUP annual conference. Everyone is encouraged to participate in this conference, which has high quality panels on research and professional issues.

Organizing activities and issues Members of the state Executive Committee and State Conference met August 27, 2018 in Lafayette and September 8, 2018 in Alexandria to discuss planning for this year. We aim to increase membership in all chapters as well as at institutions without formal chapters, and LSU-Alexandria members plan to organize as a chapter.

Upcoming activities Professor Christopher Newfield (University of California, Santa Barbara) will visit Louisiana in October. His recent book The Great Mistake (Johns Hopkins) makes the case for public reinvestment in higher education. He will be at UL Lafayette and LSU-Baton Rouge campuses October 25 and 26, and the general public is invited to his presentations. There will also be an informal meeting and social event in Acadiana October 27 to which all state conference members and friends are invited. Contact people are Leslie Bary (UL Lafayette) and Olivier Moreteau (LSU).We will be in touch soon with details.

Leslie Bary
2018-2020 President
Louisiana Conference AAUP