Ohio University AAUP

Ohio University AAUP OU-AAUP is an advocacy chapter of the American Association of University Professors at Ohio University.

Operating as usual

What created the current crisis in public higher education? Where does all the money spent on education go? COVID-19 is ...
08/29/2020

What created the current crisis in public higher education? Where does all the money spent on education go? COVID-19 is not the only culprit in this crisis. Ohio students and faculty are taking take collective action to fight systemic failures in higher ed at both state and institutional level — be there Friday, 9/4, 3pm, for "WHERE DOES TUITION GO? STUDENTS SPEAK OUT"

Register at https://tinyurl.com/y3zt2ea4.

08/27/2020

As we kick off the start of fall semester and are reminded of how much has changed in recent months, we must not forget the 53 instructional faculty members who were issued non renewals in May. These individuals have poured their hearts and souls into this university. They are facing extreme challenges in the months ahead as they continue to give 200% to their students during their "terminal year." Instructional faculty members are categorized as contingent, but many have taught at OU for decades. They, as well as those among the AFSCME-represented custodial and classified staff who were laid off, are members of our community and their departures hurt us. We are left with gaps in our staffing, increased workloads, and plummeting morale. Our nonrenewed colleagues, faculty and staff, deserve our recognition and gratitude for all that they do for their co-workers, departments, and colleges. To those of you who were not renewed in May and June, and to those of you who are facing yet another year of employment uncertainty, please know that there are people at this university who care and who will continue to fight!

- This statement Supported by OU-AAUP and an anonymous nonrenewed IF.

Please read this important letter from working parents at Ohio University. If the University is silent about the new dem...
08/26/2020
Parenting

Please read this important letter from working parents at Ohio University. If the University is silent about the new demands of childcare when schools and daycares are closed due to the continuing pandemic, this childcare work will fall disproportionately on women and disproportionately disadvantage working mothers and female caregivers. 52% of faculty at Ohio University are women. How will the University respond to rather than reproduce gendered systemic inequality? Our colleagues have some ideas, and the first step is to LISTEN.

August 24, 2020 Dear Ohio University leadership: Ohio University is in its first week of Fall Semester. Most faculty, staff, and members of the community are feeling nervous about this reopening, but parents of school-age children who also work at Ohio University are probably the most nervous o...

08/20/2020
AAUP Purdue says #facultydecide mode of instruction

AAUP Colleagues at Purdue are correct: Faculty need to be in control of their classrooms. #facultydecide

It's back-to-school at Purdue in a time of COVID-19. Prof. Pawley, president of Purdue's chapter of the American Association of University Professors, argues...

The global pandemic is aggravating deep, endemic inequities and racial disparities, including uneven access to jobs, edu...
08/11/2020
A Call for Racial Justice on Campus

The global pandemic is aggravating deep, endemic inequities and racial disparities, including uneven access to jobs, education, housing and healthcare as well as the systemic deployment of racist violence and police brutality against Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC).

In this statement, we join other midwest AAUP chapters to raise concerns over multiple, conjoined racial crises and call for measures that respond to them.

As educators committed to the public good, we recognize our responsibility—on campus and off—to advocate for students and fellow workers made even more vulnerable during the pandemic. The global pa…

We have partnered with other Ohio AAUP chapters to form the Save Ohio Higher Ed (SOHE) coalition.  We seek to protect hi...
08/11/2020
Save Ohio Higher Ed

We have partnered with other Ohio AAUP chapters to form the Save Ohio Higher Ed (SOHE) coalition. We seek to protect higher education as a public, accessible, and equitable good, and to make more visible the economic and other challenges of workers and students. Stay tuned for info on future events!

Formed in May 2020, Save Ohio Higher Ed (SOHE) is a coalition of AAUP chapters in Ohio that seeks to protect higher education as a public, accessible, and equitable good. We also aim to make more...

Support Akron-AAUP!  Sign the petition to tell the University of Akron President and trustees to work with faculty to de...
07/28/2020
Tell the University of Akron Trustees and President: Rescind or Resign

Support Akron-AAUP! Sign the petition to tell the University of Akron President and trustees to work with faculty to develop a sustainable educational plan for the university or RESIGN.

On July 15, the University of Akron Board of Trustees, at the recommendation of President Gary Miller, terminated the employment of 97 full-time faculty members. When factoring in retirements, this results in the loss of over 100 faculty. The Board and President must rescind this decision or resign....

"Our best organizer since the start of last fall semester has been the administration. Everything that’s happened since ...
07/28/2020
OU staff fight for better wages and a union

"Our best organizer since the start of last fall semester has been the administration. Everything that’s happened since then has reinforced that the university doesn’t care about us. Everything they’ve announced has been detrimental to employees, and in essence detrimental to students in many ways."

We completely agree with our staff colleagues.

Over the past year, non-bargaining classified staff at Ohio University (OU) have been waging a campaign to unionize with the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).…

WE WANT THE SAME BAILOUT BANKS AND CORPORATIONS GET WHEN THEY ARE IN CRISIS.  WE ARE ALSO TOO BIG TO FAIL! We demand a n...
07/27/2020
Statement on Reopening Ohio University during Uncontrolled COVID-19 Pandemic July 23, 2020 — Ohio University AAUP

WE WANT THE SAME BAILOUT BANKS AND CORPORATIONS GET WHEN THEY ARE IN CRISIS. WE ARE ALSO TOO BIG TO FAIL!

We demand a new way forward that puts faculty at the center of decision-making. We need real shared governance, not the failed business model that got us into this situation.

If you haven't yet seen it, these are some of our demands in our Statement on Reopening OU.

You can read the statement here .

Our hearts go out to faculty at University of Akron. We must continue to stand together against the short-sighted destru...
07/17/2020
University of Akron Trustees Approve Mass Faculty Layoff

Our hearts go out to faculty at University of Akron. We must continue to stand together against the short-sighted destruction of higher education in Ohio that leaves athletics and executive administrators unscathed.

The University of Akron Board of Trustees on Wednesday unanimously approved a measure to reduce 178 union and nonunion faculty and staff positions. Facing

Akron-AAUP's Statement on Athletics Spending at the University of Akron.At a time when the University is proposing massi...
07/08/2020
Akron-AAUP Position on Athletics Spending at UA

Akron-AAUP's Statement on Athletics Spending at the University of Akron.

At a time when the University is proposing massive cuts to academics, it is no longer defensible to lose over $20 million each year on athletics.

Akron-AAUP realizes that the University of Akron (UA) is in a financial crisis. To address this crisis, the administration has asked colleges to propose FY21 budgets with cuts ranging from 18% to 35%. Wages and benefits comprise the major portion of the academic budget; therefore, we anticipate sign...

The petition below asks that the new medical school building currently being built on Union St. in Athens be named Barba...
07/07/2020
Petition to Rename Heritage Hall

The petition below asks that the new medical school building currently being built on Union St. in Athens be named Barbara Ross-Lee Hall rather than Heritage Hall. Please sign to help make OU's history of Black leadership visible on campus.

Barbara Ross-Lee was Dean of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine from 1993 to 2001, making her the first female Black dean of any medical school in the United States. The word “heritage,” on the other hand, has been used historically as code for rationalizing and defending racism. Today, racists continue to defend the many monuments that exist in the United States to honor confederate generals and confederate leaders by claiming those monuments simply honor southern “heritage.” Help honor OU's Black history instead.

The statement will be sent to President Duane Nellis, Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Gigi Secuban, and Executive Dean of the medical school Ken Johnson on Friday July 10 at noon.

We propose that the new medical school building that is currently under construction in Athens, and slated to be named “Heritage Hall,” instead be named Barbara Ross-Lee Hall, in honor of the first Black female medical school dean at Ohio University and in the entire United States. Too many inco...

07/02/2020
Video Press Conference

If you missed today's press conference and town hall from the AAUP Midwest Chapter Coalition addressing faculty concerns about reopening campuses, you can watch it at the link below.

This video is a recording of the livestream from the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Midwest Chapter Coalition Press Conference that took place at 9am CDT on July 2, 2020.

Faculty nationwide need a real voice in planning conversations and freedom to design courses they feel safe teaching.  F...
07/01/2020
Faculty concerns about the fall are mounting

Faculty nationwide need a real voice in planning conversations and freedom to design courses they feel safe teaching. Forcing employees into unsafe working conditions in hopes of extracting tuition dollars from students wholly undermines higher education.

Professors across institutions are increasingly waving red flags about the private and public health implications of default face-to-face instruction come fall, along with a lack of shared decision making in staffing and teaching decisions.

06/30/2020

Dear Ohio University and President Nellis:
A "Town Hall" IS NOT 37 minutes of reading previously-circulated emails, deferring to Gov. DeWine's decisions, and evading even BASIC questions about what to do about grades (let alone humans) when students and faculty inevitably get sick.

It is stonewalling. It is gaslighting. It is cherry-picking AND NOT EVEN ANSWERING softball questions. It is pretending at dialogue to shore up executives' own legitimacy to an audience of trustees. And it is disgraceful.

What value was added from the well-over $1 million dollars of annual salary represented in that town hall? What new information was communicated? The exorbitant salaries of OU Executive have produced no real action and no leadership. Instead, Nellis and other Executives are shying away from ESSENTIAL questions about student, faculty, and staff health. A model of personal profits over community health and safety MUST END.

Collective Statement from Midwest University Faculty:Protect Lives, Promote EducationAs university campuses announce pla...
06/26/2020
Protecting Lives, Promoting Education: Principles for Reopening Campuses

Collective Statement from Midwest University Faculty:
Protect Lives, Promote Education

As university campuses announce plans to reopen this fall in the face of the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and police brutality, a coalition of Midwest chapters of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and other faculty organizations issued a statement today calling on campus leaders in the region to protect public health, safety, and economic well-being. “We recognize the interconnections among these crises and their deep roots in systemic, structural inequalities,” the statement says.

Representing faculty members at private colleges, regional state schools, and large public universities, the coalition makes demands in the following areas:
- Defend shared faculty governance of academic affairs, including the right to teach classes online in order to protect student, faculty, and community health
- Engage all employees in campus decision-making
- Ensure employees’ economic security
- Prevent an increase in workload
- Reject the logic of budget cuts
- Protect the interests of the lowest-paid workers

Fourteen AAUP chapters and faculty groups, along with four state AAUP conferences have signed the statement (including OU-AAUP).

We are a coalition of American Association of University Professors chapters and other faculty organizations representing faculty from universities across the Midwest. Faculty, staff, students, and…

06/25/2020

After this week, let's remember to come together to show solidarity this Saturday, 10am, along E. State St. Support OU workers! The people fired this week collaborate DAILY with faculty to make sure courses succeed and students are successful.

Wear a mask. Practice physical distancing. Bring signs with your own messages of solidarity.

OU-AAUP's Statement in Support of OU Classified Staff.  This statement reflects serious concerns prior to the mass layof...
06/24/2020
Statement in Support of OU Classified Staff — Ohio University AAUP

OU-AAUP's Statement in Support of OU Classified Staff. This statement reflects serious concerns prior to the mass layoffs of June 23.

Ohio University Executives must not balance the budget on the backs of its staff. These descisions will devastate our community.

Please read our statement in support of OU Classified Staff here .

State Representative Jay Edwards has "serious concerns with Ohio University balancing the budget on the backs of its sta...
06/24/2020

State Representative Jay Edwards has "serious concerns with Ohio University balancing the budget on the backs of its staff." Not only that, but according to his office, OU Executives seem to be making unemployment claims extremely difficult for the people it has fired. Nellis and his Administration seems bent on imagining new lows it can try to achieve.

This evening, I sent this letter to Ohio University in support of the workers who have recently been laid off. We must do better.

Dear President Nellis & OU Board of Trustees:

I am writing to seek your immediate assistance in resolving all outstanding unemployment claims made by Ohio University employees recently laid off or furloughed as part of the university’s budget-balancing plan.

To be clear, I continue to have serious concerns with Ohio University balancing its budget on the backs of staff. I understand sometimes tough choices have to be made, however, when I see Southeast Ohio residents disproportionately impacted while higher paid employees - mostly from outside of our area and working only a few hours a week - are spared, it raises serious red flags.

This is more than just a lost job. These are our friends, family, and neighbors who rely on a paycheck to support their families. It is healthcare, their child’s education, and the local economy that will now miss out on where this money was spent.

Now, to make matters worse, I am receiving multiple reports of people caught between two seemingly immovable bureaucracies they trusted: Ohio University and the unemployment safety net at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that was supposed to be there in times of need.

There is enough time down the road for OU and ODJFS to blame one another for what went wrong. Right now, the focus needs to be on making this situation right.

I hope to hear back answers on how Ohio University plans to address finding an immediate resolution to the unemployment issues facing our community members, including some who have been waiting on payments for many weeks now.

Sincerely,

Jay Edwards, State Representative

06/24/2020

Why aren't executive-level administrators at Ohio University taking a real share in the financial crisis?

By now, the pattern is clear: Ohio University Executive Administrators believe they should fire as many of the lowest-paid staff and faculty as possible instead of meaningfully reducing their own salaries. After yesterday's firing of 81 of our staff colleagues, 423 of the lowest-paid positions at OU have been eliminated (53 instructional faculty, 140 AFSCME workers, 149 lower-level administrative staff, and now 81 more staff).

To be clear: the people fired to date are VITAL TO THE ACADEMIC FUNCTIONING of OU. Faculty collaborate with these staff DAILY to deliver courses at OU.

The Executives of this university should remember they are PUBLIC SERVANTS. While insisting it is impossible to mandate salary reductions for the highest-paid executives, the Nellis Administration eliminates lower-paid staff and promises to rehire them at even lower salaries and with less protections. PUBLIC SERVANTS should share the burden.

OU-AAUP calls on the Nellis Administration and the Ohio University Board of Trustees to "reorganize" the executive ranks IN THE SAME WAY they have "reorganized" staff positions university-wide: implement mass firings of executive administrators and athletics coaches making more than the Ohio Governor ($153,650), and rehire with lower salaries and fewer benefits and protections. Cap all salaries at $153,650. Our PUBLIC SERVANTS should not use tuition dollars and tax revenue to pad their own salaries. Our PUBLIC SERVANTS should not implement mass firings to eliminate a burgeoning union (AFSCME classified). Our PUBLIC SERVANTS should be paid like public servants rather than corporate executives.

Address

Athens, OH
45701

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Please sign - https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/akron-aaup?source=facebook&&fbclid=IwAR0Z9glSznrFFGPycjq4ezSG0fzsZp18c8VGcYbvV_jiEqi8M4ZNjlMt3-E Dear Akron-AAUP Supporter, I am writing to you to ask for your help. The administration is poised to make cuts that will dramatically change the university. As President of the University of Akron Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, a proud parent of a UA student, and a mem...
Please join us on Wednesday at the College Gate. We need yOUr support! We need to show Ohio University trustees that will not back down and accept the fate that they have bestowed upon OUr community! #SaveOUrProfs #FiringFreeze #local1699 #CutFromTheTopNotTheBottom #ProtestDailyOnTheGreenOHIO Ohio University Alumni Association Ohio University Bobcat Parents Ohio University Ohio University AAUP Ohio University Student Senate
Ohio University laid off between 140 and 160 AFSCME workers and is planning deep cuts to faculty and classified staff, too. The impact on families in Athens and its surrounding counties will be devastating.
Tenured faculty might reply to Nellis’s campus email and simply state the following: Dear President Nellis: I have never been as disappointed in OU leadership as I am today. Valuable colleagues who have given more then they were asked for were terminated this week, jeopardizing their careers, the livelihoods, and the programs they helped make possible. This is a Friday none of us will forget or forgive. Sincerely,
"This is reality v the vested interests of the powerful."