AAUP Louisiana Conference, 25 April 2020

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.

2. Committees.

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.

3. Meetings.

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.

President’s Newsletter, January 25, 2020

Louisiana Conference AAUP
President’s Newsletter

January 25, 2020

Today we met at the LSU Law Center. 18 members attended, representing Tulane University of Louisiana, University of Holy Cross, LSU-Baton Rouge, Southern University-Baton Rouge, LSU-Alexandria, McNeese State University, and UL Lafayette. McNeese now has 7 members and will be formalizing a chapter this semester. With them, and the recent reactivation of the chapter at Centenary College, we will have chapters at 10 Louisiana institutions. I am grateful for the participation of members from institutions without chapters and I urge every chapter to work to increase membership this year. Materials and training are available, and AAUP presence strengthens faculty and campuses.

Monica Owens, political organizer from AAUP-national, gave a workshop on organizing strategies that was very useful. We worked with materials in the AAUP’s anti-privatization toolkit as examples of steps in an organization strategy, and we decided we need to hone our resolution to a more specific purpose before using it as part of an organizing campaign. Monica is available to consult with individual chapters by Zoom and can be contacted at mowens@aaup.org.

We formed a nominations committee for Spring elections. Chairing is Christof Stumpf (LSU-A), cstumpf@lsua.edu. Members are Jana Lipman (Tulane), jlipman@tulane.edu and Carrie Chrisco (McNeese), cchrisco@mcneese.edu. The committee is soliciting nominations for all offices, as well as to the state conference Committee A on academic freedom and tenure, which needs expansion. Members from institutions without chapters are particularly welcome on the state Committee A, since this connection can help support their faculty. We appointed Vipin Menon (McNeese) to the state conference executive committee as Media Manager.

The Spring meeting will be Saturday, April 25, 2020, 10AM-12N at UL Lafayette. I have requested a room in the Student Union. This is next to Cypress Lake with its graceful birds and charming alligators and turtles. Festival International de Louisiane, a major music, food, arts and crafts festival, will be in full swing from 12N to 11PM and later, so it will be worth staying the afternoon or longer.

We discussed a number of practical matters relating to governance and training. We may need minor constitutional revisions to enable maximum representation at the national level, and the Executive Committee will look into this. Chapters may wish to credential delegates to vote at the national meeting in June, and/or band together to form a “section” and credential a single delegate to deliver our votes. We will be communicating about this and also about the summer Institute, to be held in July either at San Diego State U or U of Nevada, Reno. The Institute is very much worthwhile, and there are some scholarships for first-time attendees.

We look forward to seeing you April 25, and to hearing from you before then.

In solidarity,

LESLIE

Leslie Bary
2018-2020 President
Louisiana Conference AAUP

President’s Newsletter, November 17, 2019

Louisiana Conference AAUP
President’s Newsletter, November 17, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this finds everyone well. In my role as District V Representative to the National Council of AAUP, I will meet with the Council in Washington November 22-24, and return to Louisiana with the latest national news. As you know, the changes to AAUP structure at the national level mean we must be active and support each other. I am interested in bringing as much national support to Louisiana as I can, and in placing as many of us as possible in direct contact with national leadership and leadership elsewhere in our region.

In news of the state conference, a new chapter has formed at LSU-Alexandria. With the recent addition of a chapter at Xavier, we are eight: SU-BR and SU-Shreveport, LSU-BR and LSU-A, UL Lafayette and SELU, XULA and Tulane. That is two private institutions, two in the University of Louisiana System, two LSU and two Southern campuses. I would very much like to see LSU-S grow a chapter, to give better coverage in the northern part of the state. I would also be delighted to see growth at UNO and Delgado, as well as Loyola which has a commitment to social justice and has had an active chapter in the past.

State conference leaders and members met September 28 in Alexandria, but did not hold our planned formal meeting. We decided that although it is good to have an AAUP presentation at ALFS, it is most practical to hold our business meetings separately. Accordingly, the Louisiana Conference of the AAUP will meet January 25, 2020, 10AM-12N at the Paul Hébert Law Center, LSU-Baton Rouge. We will provide lunch at noon, and we request attendees RSVP by January 10 so orders can be made.

 A draft agenda is below. Please let me know if you have additional items, they can be fit in.

I. Welcome and introductions. (5m)

IIA. Discussion of ongoing project: our resolution on restoration of state funding as organizing tool. It has been endorsed by ALFS, the LA AAUP Executive Council, the Faculty Senate at LSU-A, and the LSU-A Chapter of AAUP. (10m)

IIB. AAUP anti-privatization initiative (an important issue and organizing tool), and possible visit of Monica Owens (AAUP political organizer, with interests in both the restoration of state funding and the anti-privatization initiative. (10m)

III. Treasurer’s report. (5m)

IV. Reports from chapter presidents. (30m) [1 hour mark]

V. Discussion of networking among chapters, organizing statewide. (15m)

VI. Committee A issues: mission, training opportunities, liaisons on campuses without chapters (5m)

VII. Grant and other funding opportunities through the conference, for chapters and individuals (10m)

VIII. 2020 Summer Institute scholarships (5m)

IX. Process for credentialing one or more representatives to the summer meeting (10m)

X. Formation of nominations committee for Spring 2020 state conference elections. (10m)
 
XI. Establishment of date for April, 2020 (election) meeting. (5m) [2 hour mark]

In solidarity,

Leslie Bary
2018-2020 President
Louisiana Conference AAUP