Post-Election Thoughts

From AAUP-UC’s perspective, the election in Ohio was disappointing. AAUP-UC endorsed Rich Cordray for governor and Betty Sutton for lieutenant governor.  We believed that they would have stopped the frequent attacks on public sector collective bargaining in Ohio. Equally important, we hoped that they would bring a fresh perspective on the role and significance of higher education in Ohio.

With Cordray and Sutton’s defeat, the Republican Party will continue to control the governor’s office and the both legislative houses. They have not been friendly to public sector employees or to higher education in the recent past.  (Click HERE for the OCAAUP’s 2018 report on the status of higher education in Ohio.)  The lame duck legislature has already introduced legislation that would build on the Supreme Court’s Janus decision and threaten a union’s right to exclusively represent employees. This is another attempt to weaken unions. We hope that this legislation will not move out of committee, but we will be monitoring the situation closely.

The AAUP, working with the OCAAUP, does hope to work with incoming governor Mike DeWine and his administration. He has begun his tenure with a more conciliatory tone than his predecessor. (You will recall that one of John Kasich’s first acts as governor was signing SB #5, which would have eliminated most of public sector employees’ rights to collectively bargain.)  In short, we will hope for the best, while preparing for the worst. If necessary, and as we have done in the past, AAUP-UC we will work with AAUP chapters and allies across the state to defeat legislation that targets faculty or negatively impacts students. Our track record to date has been impressive, as we collectively have defeated efforts to reduce sick-time, curtail tenure, charge faculty to use their own textbooks, and, of course, repeated efforts to curtail faculty from bargaining collectively.

There were a few reasons for optimism on Election Day. AAUP-UC endorsed candidates Representative Brigid Kelly (representing the uptown campus) and State School Board Member Pat Bruns were reelected. Representative Fred Strahorn, another AAUP-UC endorsed candidate and the minority leader in the house, was reelected.  His Democratic caucus is expected to pick up five to eight seats after all the votes are tallied.

Moving forward, it is hoped that reforms passed by voters to curb gerrymandering will be effective and make Ohio elections more competitive moving forward. (Here is an interesting article from The Cleveland Plain dealer on the reforms to curtail gerrymandering and their impact on Ohio politics moving forward.)  Finally, I note that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who launched an unprecedented assault on both public sector unions and higher education was defeated.

I remain optimistic and look forward to continuing to work with you to move higher education forward in Ohio.

AAUP-UC 2018 endorsements

AAUP-UC’s endorsement in partisan political races has historically been rare. This has increased in recent years as higher education funding in Ohio has been repeatedly cut. Further, faculty have been repeatedly targeted by a variety of ill-informed legislative efforts that depict faculty as the problem that must be fixed. This includes bills that mandated course load, reduced sick-time, required post-tenure review, prohibited faculty from using their own textbook for courses, and repeated attempts to limit the faculty’s ability to collectively bargain. Fortunately, through the efforts of AAUP-UC, the Ohio Conference AAUP, and our allies throughout the state, these misguided pieces of legislation were defeated. Unfortunately, there will be more forthcoming.

With this background, and after a thorough and methodical process, the AAUP-UC Political Action Committee (PAC) recommended and the AAUP-UC membership approved the following endorsements.

Rich Cordray for Governor. Cordray is the former Ohio attorney general, treasurer, and head of the United States Consumer Protection Bureau. He has made making higher education more affordable, expanding access to technical training, and making community college free a critical part of his campaign. Both before and after the Chapter’s endorsement, Cordray has been open and available to discussing issues that are important to AAUP-UC. This includes issues that affect working conditions at UC, including administrative bloat, the increasing athletic subsidy, over-reliance on adjuncts, and the need for more diverse perspectives, including an academic perspective, on the board of trustees.

Fred Strahorn and Brigid Kelly for State Representative. Strahorn and Kelly have been critical allies of AAUP-UC and the Ohio Conference of the AAUP on a number of the anti-faculty issues that have emerged in the Ohio House in recent years. Without their support, some of this legislation would have passed. Strahorn is the minority leader. Kelly is the assistant minority whip and represents the district that includes UC’s uptown campus.

Kathleen Clyde for Secretary of State. Clyde was an eloquent and passionate voice in the Ohio House on AAUP-UC and higher education issues. As Secretary of State, she will work to ensure voter access and make the decennial redistricting process fairer and more transparent.

Pat Bruns for State School Board. Pat Bruns is a former educator having taught art in the Northwest School district in Hamilton County. She has been a consistent advocate on the state board of education for affordable, quality public education.

All AAUP-UC endorsements are voted on at general membership meetings. Only AAUP-UC members are eligible to vote. If you are not a member of AAUP-UC, click HERE to join.

Cordray for Governor

Great faculty with a great candidate–Rich Cordray for governor of Ohio (endorsed by AAUP-UC)!


Contract negotiations at Wright State continue to go poorly. Faculty, students, and community leaders are standing together to fight for the future of Wright State. After years of mismanagement and poor stewardship, the WSU chapter of the AAUP is calling on their Board of Trustees to end the fight with faculty and save Wright State.

Please consider joining them at the Board of Trustees meeting on October 19th. More details are available HERE.

For the latest up to date information on the WSU campaign, go to their websiteFacebook page, or follow them on Twitter and use the hashtag #fighting4wright.