Leslie Bary, President
Sudhir Trivedi, Secretary
Louisiana Conference, AAUP
Annual Meeting April 25, 2020
The meeting was held by Zoom, due to the coronavirus lockdown. Including officers there were 29 members present, from 13 Louisiana institutions: Centenary College of Louisiana, Grambling State University, LSU-Alexandria, LSU-Baton Rouge, McNeese State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, SU-Baton Rouge, Tulane University of Louisiana, University of Holy Cross, UL Lafayette, UL Monroe, and Xavier University of Louisiana.
Discussion was wide-ranging but these are highlights.
1. Election of officers for 2018-2020.
The Nominating Committee consisting of Christof Stumpf (Chair), Jana Lipman, and Carrie Chrisco presented a slate: Leslie Bary (President), Sudhir Trivedi (Vice President), Thomas Miller (Secretary), Kevin Cope (Treasurer), and David Reid (At-Large).
Steven Rushing moved to approve the slate and was seconded by Nigel Gwee. The motion passed unanimously, and there were no nominations from the floor. The election will be run by SurveyMonkey before the end of the Spring Semester, and all members will have the chance to vote.
Current committee heads include Vipin Menon, Media Manager/Webmaster, appointed at the January 25 meeting in Baton Rouge. Committee heads serve on the Executive Committee.
Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure needs additional members and seeks volunteers, from all institutions but in particular from those without their own chapters or their own Committees A. Dean Sinclair joined at this meeting, and we encourage others to do so. Resources for Committee A are on the AAUP website, here: https://www.aaup.org/about/state-conferences/state-conference-committee-resources.
Considering the coronavirus situation, we decided we should meet bimonthly. Some meetings will still be in person and there is an in-person meeting, with a speaker, lunch, and a recreational excursion to Festivals Acadiens et Créoles tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 10 at UL Lafayette. However, the next meeting will be Saturday, June 20, at 10 AM on Zoom. Leslie will have just attended the June National Council meeting, also on Zoom, by then, and we will be able to continue the discussion begun Saturday, April 25.
4. Board of Regents.
We had a discussion about becoming a regular presence at the monthly Board of Regents meetings. We decided to offer a year’s AAUP membership to Jim Robinson of LSU-E, who does attend meetings regularly as a member of the Association of Louisiana Faculty Senates. We are hoping a larger group can have a sustained presence.
5. Legal Support.
We discussed offering legal support for faculty grievances, and Vipin Menon is drafting a proposal for this. (Note from Leslie: the Conference has traditionally provided financial support to key cases.)
6. News from National AAUP.
Due to the coronavirus, the 2020 summer Institute and summer meeting are both canceled. Elections (with delegates functioning as electors, per the new Constitution) will take place by paper mail. We, the Louisiana Conference, expect to help support some of our members to attend the Institute and the meeting the next time these are held, as they (and particularly the Institute) are very interesting and the Institute, in addition to being pleasant, offers excellent training for AAUP activists.
7. Current issues.
We are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus on our campuses and on faculty and student rights, including increased privatization and loss of faculty input on decision making as well as other faculty and student rights, intellectual property rights, and possible “reorganization” of institutions. We will be watching developments on our campuses, for discussion at the June 20th meeting.
Discussion at the meeting and in the accompanying Zoom chat thread was very rich, and the chat thread has been archived for future reference.