Draft Resolution

SECOND DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR AUGUST 8TH AAUP MEETING: IMPROVING MANAGEMENT BOARDS, CONNECTING MANAGEMENT BOARD WITH FACULTY

Whereas the citizens of Louisiana have established universities as repositories of expertise—as resources for the teaching of our people, for the betterment of our life, for the advancement of our economy, and for the discovery of truth and knowledge;

Whereas Louisiana universities, per their mission statements, jointly cover a very wide range of disciplines and professional pursuits, from health care delivery to music history to astrophysics, and more;

Whereas the leadership of institutions that are dedicated to the cultivation of expertise requires familiarity with the culture and expertise of those whose profession is the production and dissemination of knowledge;

Whereas the management Boards of public institutions—the Boards of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System; the LSU System; the Southern University System; and the Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges System along with the State Board of Regents—are the appointed deputies of the Governor of Louisiana, regulating higher education on behalf of the State executive branch;

Whereas the membership of these five Boards is overwhelmingly comprised of persons drawn from a very small range of professions and vocations, most notably business, finance, and law, and whereas those few—no more than half-dozen—Board members with experience in education are former administrators rather than rank-and-file faculty members who belong to only two of the five Boards, those of Southern University and the LCTCS;

Whereas a much greater level of vocational, ideological, and socioeconomic diversity characterizes the governing Boards of Louisiana’s independent and religion-affiliated colleges and universities, which include in their membership architects, activists and social reformers, restaurateurs, artists, priests, and medical personnel, to name but a few of the participating professions;

Whereas a greater level of vocational diversity is also found among the management Boards of those prestigious institutions that routinely outrank Louisiana universities according to assorted metrics and rating services;1

Whereas, although the contributions of all Board members are highly valued, a Board that is dominated by one profession or cluster of professions lacks the breadth of expertise needed to served the expansive interests of higher education—a problem noted by prominent commentators writing for accoladed publications who have drawn attention to the potential conflict of interest between business-dominated Boards and the university mandate to probe, critique, and transform the status quo;

Whereas the thousands of faculty members of Louisiana colleges and universities possess an enormous but largely untapped treasury of disciplinary and educational knowledge as well as front-line experience in Louisiana higher education;

Whereas faculty members have made repeated attempts to establish channels of communication with both the management Boards and the executive branch of Louisiana government, whether through two meetings with the Governor’s Chief of Staff or whether through forums conducted under the aegis of ALFS (the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates) or whether through testimony before legislative committees or whether through an assortment of personal contacts;

Whereas Louisiana’s higher education management Boards enfranchise student members but not faculty members;

Whereas the neglect of faculty advice and the unfamiliarity of management Boards with academic standards and practices have led Louisiana into the ignominious position of leading the nation both in total number of AAUP censures and the rate at which AAUP censures are imposed;

Therefore be it resolved that the Louisiana Conference of the American Association of University Professors [in partnership with the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates] asks Governor John Bel Edwards to conduct a review of the qualifications required for appointment to any of Louisiana’s higher education;

Therefore be it resolved that the Louisiana AAUP [and ALFS] encourage[s] Governor Edwards to include experiential, vocational, and educational diversity as a criterion for appointment to management Boards;

Therefore be it further resolved that the Louisiana AAUP [and ALFS] ask[s] Governor Edwards to create formal channels for regular input to state higher education officials from Louisiana college and university faculty members;

Therefore be it further resolved that the Louisiana AAUP [and ALFS] ask[s] Governor Edwards to take the necessary steps, including legislative action if required, to include Louisiana faculty members on Louisiana higher education management Boards.

And therefore be it further resolved that the Louisiana State Conference of the AAUP will appoint a committee to introduce this resolution to Governor Edwards, either by preparing a suitable cover letter or arranging for direct delivery.

Agenda for Zoom meeting on August 8, 2020

For voting, followed by brief planning for implementation:

– Endorsing/using statements from AAUP on COVID-19 and on HE funding post-COVID (already endorsed by the Executive Committee)
– Adopting the resolution by Kevin Cope, Michelle Massé, Judith Miranti and Christof Stumpf, to ask the Governor for faculty representation on HE boards in Louisiana (this is a resolution we would also use for recruitment; a draft was distributed by e-mail

Reports and announcements:

– Formalization and process for dues subsidy program (Leslie + Executive Committee)
– Report from COVID-19 committee (Tom Miller, Christof Stumpf, Sudhir Trivedi, Leslie ex officio); note Tulane survey and results here
– Report on media consultant and outreach (Dayne Sherman, Kevin Cope, Judith Miranti)
– Brief report from Summer Institute (Dave Reid, Leslie, perhaps others; all webinars and supplemental materials are available here (current members only – you must log in)
– Creation of network on the status of women (Judith Miranti, Leslie, [Jana Giles])
– Brief reminder on fall/spring organizing drives, tools and materials for (Leslie)
– Brief report from Committee A (Kevin Cope, Leslie)
– Possible reports from chapters (Tulane, Southern have interesting activities, and others may)

Discussion:

– the idea of union (Steve Rushing, Kevin Cope) – what are the obstacles to organizing for HE advocacy in Louisiana, and how can they be overcome?

Leslie Bary
2020-2022 President

President’s Newsletter and report on Zoom meeting June 20, 2020

June 23, 2020
Louisiana Conference, AAUP
President’s Newsletter and report on Zoom meeting June 20, 2020

Executive Committee: Sudhir Trivedi (Vice-President), Tom Miller (Secretary), Kevin Cope (Treasurer), Dave Reid (At-Large), Ravi Rau (Past President), Dayne Sherman (Communication and Outreach), Brian Salvatore (Chapter Services), Vipin Menon (Media Manager)

Action Items (ideally before next meeting August 8 – Executive Committee to meet earlier by Zoom / similar)

Executive Committee

  • Consider issuing COVID-19 statement, and/or signing onto and helping to disseminate the one from the Midwestern AAUP chapters
  • Consider imlementation of survey of COVID-19 responses, perhaps together with ALFS
  • Vote on the proposal to subsidize memberships for 10 African-American faculty, and discuss implementation
  • Consider issuing a statement on diversity/George Floyd protests
  • Consider forming a committee to follow up on Hugh Wilson’s proposal, on advocating for LA institutions to join SROP or create something like it here
  • Consider signing onto the New Deal for Higher Education and organizing around its principles

Chapter Leaders

  • Get an AAUP spot at Fall orientation, both for faculty and for graduate students
  • Get AAUP brochures into orientation packets for new faculty
  • Discuss statements referred to in this document on COVID-10 and racial justice with membership
  • Consider signing onto these statements and/or issuing your own, disseminating these statements and organizing around the issues they raise
  • Consider participating in voting registration / GOTV drive – while wearing AAUP paraphernalia, to raise our profile
    Consider signing onto the New Deal for Higher Education and organizing around its principles

Members

  • Attend at least part of Summer Institute
  • Ask colleagues to join AAUP
  • Ask the AAUP national office for brochures and other recruiting materials
  • Participate in chapter and conference activities, speak up, volunteer for chapter and state conference committees
  • Run for Senate, get on Senate policy committees, work on faculty rights / faculty handbook

Dear Colleagues,

We had a lively Zoom meeting with 14 participants. Central topics were COVID-19 response, member support, and membership recruitment, and we have action items related to these as well as to the George Floyd protests. Shared governance, academic freedom, and labor rights as well as student safety are key issues here. We need to be visible and also supportive of related organizations. As District V Representative to the National Council, Leslie Bary had been in conference with leadership earlier in the week and the message from the Washington office was that to save higher education in the United States we should all be out registering voters and making sure to get out and vote in November.

TREASURER’S REPORT

We have $23,678 in the bank, and we are receiving about $1,200 per annum in dues rebates from the national organization. Although expenditures have been minimal in 2020 due to the COVID situation, we normally have some travel expenses, covering delegates sent to national meetings. There are minor costs related to website maintenance, and we sometimes host speakers from out of state and contribute financially to legal expenses of our colleagues (members and not). This means we are spending on average slightly more than we bring in. There are solutions for this:

1/ Increase membership! We receive a portion of dues for each member.

2/ Apply for grants for specific purposes from AAUP. Leslie Bary got one, and it covered the cost of the visit of Chris Newfield to LSU-BR and UL Lafayette. There are several, including chapter development grants.

3/ Fundraise. Part of why we are doing as well as we are currently has to do with a donation of $10,000 we received in 2018.

COMMITTEE A ON ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND TENURE

Chair is Kevin Cope (LSU-BR) and current members are Dean Sinclair (Northwestern), Sudhir Trivedi (SU-BR), and Hugh Wilson (Grambling). Committee A seeks additional members, particularly from institutions without chapters and chapters without active Committees A. Interested people should contact Leslie Bary (empowered as President to expand the Committee) and/or Kevin Cope (chair and convener).

The committee has received a number of inquiries on academic freedom issues from around the state, as well as some from people denied tenure. It has noted what appears to be a pattern of systemic gender discrimination across institutions and is keeping watch on this.

The state conference has traditionally used some of our funds to help colleagues with legal costs, especially when they had cases with broad implications for everyone. We decided to allocate Committee A a budget of up to $1,000 per year for this purpose. We may vote to supplement this budget at crucial times and we will, as we have always done, continue to support colleagues with our own funds. Following AAUP principles the Committee will use all funds to support principles, not individuals, and we support all faculty, not only AAUP members. We support rank-and-file, not only high profile faculty, and we support contingent faculty as well as tenure-track and tenured faculty. Please note that from an AAUP perspective all faculty are tenure-track or tenured, whether institutions recognize this or not, and all deserve equal support from AAUP.

SUMMER INSTITUTE

You will have received mail from AAUP on the Summer Institute. Programs are virtual and no-cost this year, and they are very highly recommended. The program is at https://www.aaup.org/event/2020-summer-institute-online and while there is no cost, space is limited so registration should be done now. You don’t have to register for at all, and can attend for as short a time as 90 minutes. Once again, the sessions are VERY valuable and those of us who have attended in the past could not recommend the Institute more highly.

COVID-19

  1. Issues include safety, pedagogy, intellectual property, workload, research feasibility, tenure, and possible program and staffing reductions, as well as shared governance. We should insist that all faculty be involved in decision making. At several campuses only hand-picked faculty and departments head/s chairs are involved.
  1. We may very want to issue a statement on COVID-19, or at the very least sign onto the one the Midwestern chapters have written. Xavier sent a statement of support, and I would like the State Conference to consider signing. The document is here, e-mail aaup-midwest-coalition@googlegroups.com to sign. I would like the executive committee (Sudhir, Tom, Kevin, Dave, Ravi, Dayne, Brian, Vipin) to vote on signing, taking into consideration that several members have spoken very positively of this letter. We should then publicize the letter, and also any statement we may compose.
  2. We want to do a survey of COVID plans at Louisiana universities. Some, for instance, have extended the tenure clock by one year, in some cases with the possibility of opting out. What else is being done? If we are actually doing this, we need to compose a committee to create this survey and find a way to conduct it; we might want to work in tandem with ALFS here.

RACIAL JUSTICE

In the context of the George Floyd protests, many state conferences have issued statements on racial justice. With historic protests taking place in Lafayette, UL Lafayette’s Faculty Senate issued a letter on diversity in hiring, curriculum and admissions. The UL Lafayette AAUP chapter signed with them. Other chapters may want to emit such statements, and the State Conference may want to as well.

MEMBER RECRUITMENT + RACIAL JUSTICE

There had been a suggestion that we subsidize new memberships, perhaps targeting campuses that do not have chapters and need them. In light of the need to support racial justice and to diversity membership in the AAUP, this was modified to a proposal to subsidize, at 50%, for three years, ten new memberships for African-American faculty members, of any rank and at any institution.

(Another suggestion was a competition: we could offer a monetary prize to the chapter or chapters that can sign up the most African-American members in the coming year.)

The executive committee needs to vote on the subsidy proposal, which was discussed with strong interest, and create an implementation plan.

FUNDING FOR HIGHER EDUCATION + COVID-19 + RACIAL JUSTICE

The state conference, chapters, and allied organizations may want to sign onto the AAUP proposal for a New Deal for Higher Education and use its points as talking points with administrations, legislators, civic groups, and the media.

The executive committee should discuss this.

NEXT ZOOM MEETING

Saturday, August 8, 2020, 10 AM. Leslie will in the meantime communicate with the Executive Committee and with you, to coordinate action on plans discussed today.

Present at this meeting:

From the Executive Committee:

Leslie Bary (UL Lafayette)
Sudhir Trivedi (Southern)
Kevin Cope (LSU-BR)
Dave Reid (UL Lafayette)
Vipin Menon (McNeese)

From the Membership:

Matthew Ware (Grambling)
Judith Miranti (Xavier)
Jana Lipman (Past President, Tulane)
Katheryn Laborde (Xavier)
Constance Balides (Tulane)
Christof Stumpf (LSU-Alexandria)
Carola Wenk (President, Tulane)
Brooks Ellwood (LSU-BR)
Biljana Obradovic (President, Xavier)

 

In Solidarity,

LESLIE

Leslie Bary
2020-2022
President
Louisiana Conference AAUP