Reminder–the executive council election ends on March 17th. Nominations for delegates to the national AAUP meeting are now open.
“This disparity in pay represents upside down priorities,” said John McNay, president of Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors. “We’re supposed to be institutions of education and to be throwing so much money at athletics is just irresponsible.”
OCAAUP President John McNay comments on the salaries of the new UC coach and the new president in this Enquirer article.
Another report from the OCAAUP on tenure and the state legislature:
Rep. Ron Young (R-Leroy Twp.) has introduced House Bill 66, legislation that would create a state-imposed workload mandate for tenured faculty.
The legislation calls upon boards of trustees at each public college and university to review and update workload policies. Those updated policies would have to include a provision that tenured faculty must teach “not less than three semester hours, or the equivalent, of undergraduate courses per semester.”
The bill would not impact current collective bargaining agreements, but explicitly lays out that it would prevail over any future collective bargaining agreements, should the bill be passed and enacted.
Gov. Kasich has tried to impose workload mandates in previous budget bills, but the legislature was quick to remove those provisions. Generally speaking, colleges and universities have been opposed to these provisions because they do not want the General Assembly to get in the business of micromanaging institutions.
Right now, we do not know where the Inter-University Council or Ohio Association of Community Colleges stand on the bill. We do hope that we can be united with those employer groups, as well as other organizations, to combat this misguided legislation.
The bill merely has been introduced and has not yet been referred to committee, although we expect that it will be referred to the new House Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee. Should the bill be scheduled for hearings, we will provide testimony on the myriad of problems that this legislation would present in tinkering with workload.
As always, we will try to help legislators understand that these are not the real issues facing public higher education.
The following update is from the Ohio Conference AAUP:
On February 7, House Bill 49, the state budget bill, was released in full. It contained all of the components that we reported to you in our last e-mail. But it also included language about tenure that was not highlighted in the governor’s summary documents. Here is what it says:
(C)(1) The board of trustees of each state institution of higher education shall review the institution’s policy on faculty tenure and update that policy to promote excellence in instruction, research, service, and commercialization.
(2) Beginning on January 1, 2018, as a condition for a state institution of higher education to receive state funds for research that are allocated to the department of higher education under the appropriation line items referred to as either “research incentive third frontier fund” or “research incentive third frontier-tax,” the chancellor shall require the state institution to include a commercialization pathway for faculty tenure in its policy.
This language is ambiguous and appears to ask boards of trustees to do something that they already have the authority to do. The subtext of this seems to be that current tenure policies are not promoting faculty excellence.
Some institutions of higher education around the country have added commercialization as a criterion for achieving tenure. It appears that the governor wants faculty to focus more on inventions and other things that can be commercialized without it inhibiting the ability to earn tenure.
At minimum, this language would require institutions to revise their tenure policies to include provisions about commercialization. This likely would impact institutional governance documents and collective bargaining agreements.
This is just the starting point in the budget bill. We are in the midst of talking to legislators and getting a better sense of what they hope to achieve with this language. Certainly, there are legislators who would like to do away with tenure and have all faculty be at-will employees. We are working to educate lawmakers on the importance and benefits of tenure.
There will be a membership meeting on Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 100 Walters on the Blue Ash campus. Lunch will be provided at 12:15 p.m. The meeting is open to full members of AAUP-UC.