AAUP Louisiana Conference
June 18, 2019
June 13-16 Brooks Ellwood (LSU-BR), Linda Carroll (Tulane), Steve Rushing (SELU) and I attended the AAUP national meeting in Virginia – Brooks, Linda and I in our roles on the National Council and Executive Committee, and Steve joining us as a State Conference delegate. Linda was also credentialed as a delegate from her local chapter, something we should be sure to get done for Brooks next year and ideally, for me as well. We would like to encourage other chapters to send delegates next year, and to help fund their travel.
Structural changes to the national organization approved at this year’s meeting have implications for us. (1) Voting at the national level must be done in person at the national meeting, by elected representatives of a chapter or “section.” We could send only one person (as a “section”), or even form a “section” larger than Louisiana so as to share the cost of the delegate’s trip with another state conference. However, there are benefits to having more than one person attend since (2) the more representatives there are, the more accurately our views are represented and since (3) candidates for national office and representatives from our region will be elected by those present. If we send more people to the national meeting, more can participate in leadership at that level, and bring the knowledge gained home. (4) The role of the Assembly of State Conferences in national governance has been eliminated. State conference leaders across our region and nationwide, however, have plans to network and to hold periodic in-person meetings, open to everyone.
We’ll talk more broadly about changes to the national governmental structure of the organization, and ways to strengthen our work in the new context at our Fall meeting September 28, where Christof Stumpf (LSU-Alexandria) and Hugh Wilson (Grambling) will also report on the AAUP Summer Institute they are attending next month in Chicago. To strengthen us locally and to contribute to strength nationwide we should (1) create chapters at as many institutions as possible since chapter delegates can deliver votes at the national meeting; (2) join the conferences, like Texas, Connecticut and Illinois, that are visiting state legislators on Capitol Hill the day before the national meeting starts; (3) encourage younger faculty and faculty of color to participate in national leadership. At the Fall meeting we will also talk about our resolution on state funding, about possible visits to our legislators in Baton Rouge and locally, and about the possibility of applying for a conference development grant to support our activities.
Chapters should know there are chapter development grants available from the national AAUP, and that the conference has some funds to help support organizing activities.
Finally, NOW is the time to contact your administrations about getting a spot in new faculty and new graduate student orientation at your institutions this August. I and also the national AAUP have a variety flyers and recruiting materials, that can be put in orientation folders even if you do not get a spot or cannot hold a recruiting event (ideal is to have a spot at orientation where you invite people to an independent, congenial recruiting event, but getting materials into the recruiting folders is a good first step). There is strength in numbers, and the more members we have, the better off we are.
Happy Juneteenth, Solstice, and summer in general!
Louisiana Conference AAUP