FROM THE PRESIDENT September 17, 2021
The Louisiana Conference of AAUP has a post office box now, and will soon have paper letterhead. Our address is:
Louisiana Conference AAUP
750 Florida Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
The Executive Board and Committee A have, in the past year, written a number of advocacy letters on behalf of individuals and in support of policies, and we need a return address. Letters to some entities, including legislators, have to be sent by paper mail, so we are setting ourselves up for a more professional look.
There are 191 of us in Louisiana now, meaning that over the past three years we have replaced all who moved or retired, and added another 25 members. This is a positive development and I encourage each of you to promote AAUP membership to at least two of your colleagues this semester, as there is strength in numbers. Brochures and stickers are available from the national AAUP, and we should use them. If you did not receive a version of this newsletter and these minutes by e-mail to your individual address, your membership may have lapsed, and/or the e-mail address you have on file with the AAUP may not be up to date. You can resolve this by contacting them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The state conference met by Zoom July 17, with a small group. Secretary Thomas Miller (SU-BR) took notes, which are pasted below with some updating from me. We will meet again by Zoom October 23, defining this as a meeting of the executive board, with an audience if people would like to attend. Reasoning: the quarterly Zoom meetings of the entire conference are a child of the COVID situation. The executive board needs to make some routine and practical decisions. We will schedule another meeting in January for more general discussion and to form a nominations committee for elections, to be held April 24, 2022.
Kevin Cope, Treasurer, reports that our dues remittance was above $1600 this year. With no new expenses beyond the minor one of the post office box, our finances are healthy; chapters undertaking projects including speaker events and recruiting should contact us.
FROM THE SECRETARY
Present at the July 17 meeting were:
Leslie Bary (President) (UL Lafayette)
Sudhir Trivedi (Vice President) (SU-BR)
Thomas Miller (Secretary) (SU-BR)
Ravi Rau (Past President) (LSU-BR)
Judith Miranti (Xavier)
Peter Siska (LSU-S)
Christof Stumpf (LSU-A)
Meeting begins: 10:15 am
Item I: Mold Remediation LSU-S – The LSU-S administration continues to neglect facility upkeep. In particular, the ongoing presence of mold in the Science Building has not been adequately addressed. The campus Faculty Senate sides with this administration when this issue and other related complaints are aired at meetings, a situation exacerbated by the fact that administrators regularly attend Faculty Senate meetings. A group of four faculty have attempted to bypass the Senate, seeking to meet with the administration directly. The administration remains unresponsive. Forcing the administration to respond to this and other issues will be difficult, so long as the campus Faculty Senate is unwilling to confront the administration.
Recommendation: AAUP members should seek out faculty who show a willingness to speak up on issues of concern and to recruit the same to contest for positions of leadership in the Faculty Senate. Faculty Senate elections are annual.
Item II: Fall/Spring organizing – Chapters should send out communications to all faculty, ideally during convocation although it can be later, explaining the purpose of the AAUP while promoting new membership. Every campus with an active membership should ideally have a display table present at orientation. It is worth beginning to plan for January and August 2022 now. To become more visibly effective as an organization, it was recommended that the State Conference focus on concrete actions including:
1) Frame and promote a solid argument in favor of increased funding for higher education, including vocal support for the College for All Act, and
2) Continue to advocate for the inclusion of university faculty on System Boards and on the Board of Regents.
Item III: Media management, outreach and communication – These two committees of the Conference have merged into one. It was agreed that the Conference should continue to use Optima Web Services, our current web service provider, and that letterhead should be designed and printed on letter stock and envelopes. The secretary has secured a Post Office Box in Baton Rouge. We must still design and print letterhead, and place the P.O. address on the website.
New business – The Executive Committee has scheduled the fall Zoom meeting for Oct. 23. The spring meeting is planned for April 24 in Baton Rouge. This is an election meeting.
Meeting concludes: 12:05 pm.