As you have read in previous communications, the AAUP- Chapter voted to oppose state issue #1. This constitutional amendment would make it significantly harder to amend the Ohio constitution, make referendum initiatives more difficult, and be the foundation for attacks on the right to collective bargaining, higher education, and other critical issues.
Join fellow AAUP-UC Chapter members in a united effort to protect majority rule. We invite you to attend a postcard-writing event where we’ll write to union members urging them to vote No on Issue 1. The event will be on Monday, July 10th from 4-8 p.m. at 2368 Victory Parkway. This is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and stand up for our collective interests. Enjoy a light and social gathering with pizza, beer, and wine provided. Let’s come together, engage in important discussions, and support each other in safeguarding our state’s future.
Contact Wahinya Njau (AAUP-UC member) at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 614/929-1630 for more information.
OXFORD, Ohio—More than 800 faculty members at Miami University officially have a union today after the State Employment Labor Relations Board certified that an overwhelming majority of faculty cast ballots in favor of forming a new chapter of the American Association of University Professors/American Federation of Teachers. The new union includes tenured and tenure-track faculty members and longer-term contract faculty including teaching professors, clinical faculty and lecturers. Voting took place via mail ballot election from April 18 through May 2. The result was 450 to 241.
The Faculty Alliance of Miami has spent more than a year organizing for the union election, motivated by shared governance issues, workloads, and the arbitrary and unfair dismissal of a large number of faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic. The chapter filed with SERB to include these faculty members in the unit, but the board determined they would be a separate bargaining unit. The need for a stronger tenure system and more equitable compensation were additional factors that pushed Miami faculty to form a union.
English professor Cathy Wagner, a lead faculty organizer for FAM, said: “We are thrilled. This win means faculty’s voices will be heard. The teacher-scholar mission that made Miami a great school has been under threat from an administration that does not understand that teacher working conditions are student learning conditions. Now, we have the collective power and legal right to win changes for ourselves and our students.”
Paul Schaeffer, biology professor and organizer for FAM, said: “This victory is the outcome of years of hard work. As an organizer, I felt that the outcome was never in doubt after talking to so many of our colleagues and acting on their clear mandate. This victory will give us the pathway to use our collective voice to bring this mandate to fruition, and to ensure that the faculty are heard as we work to improve faculty working conditions and student learning conditions through collective bargaining. We look forward to beginning the bargaining process with the administration.”
Irene Mulvey, president of the American Association of University Professors, said: “This incredible win at Miami University is an inspiration to the growing academic labor movement. Fed up with an administration that treated the faculty like cogs in a machine, our colleagues at Miami University demanded and won the right to have a powerful collective voice on the job to fight for academic freedom, shared governance and a more just university for all. We are thrilled with today’s result, which will promote and strengthen the core academic mission at Miami University.”
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said: “Today, faculty at Miami University voted for a union because they want to teach and be respected for the work they do. They understand the basic maxim that together we can accomplish far more than we ever can alone. Faced with an administration that treated them as expendable widgets—rather than the knowledge creators, researchers and teachers they are—they joined together to demand a seat at the table and a real voice in their work lives. Now, faculty look ahead to bargaining a first contract with stronger tenure, pay and academic freedom that will improve Miami and the students that it serves. I could not be prouder, and we are honored to represent them.”
Faculty Alliance of Miami organizers say they want to use collective bargaining to promote more stable employment and strengthen the university’s educational mission.
The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.
Unionized and nonunionized chapters of the AAUP champion academic freedom, advance shared governance, and promote economic security for all who teach and conduct research in higher education. Since 1915, the AAUP has shaped American higher education by defending standards that support quality education and ensure higher education’s contribution to the common good
As you may have read or heard, an anti-faculty, anti-higher education bill, Senate Bill 83 (SB 83), has been introduced in the Ohio Senate. The bill contains a lengthy and bizarre list of mandates and prohibitions, including:
- Banning diversity, equity, and inclusion training for any faculty, staff, or students
- Requiring each public institution of higher education to adopt a policy that affirms it will ensure intellectual diversity and guarantee that faculty and staff will encourage students to form their own conclusions about “controversial matters” and will not inculcate any social, religious, or political viewpoint. “Controversial” is defined as “any belief or policy that is the subject of political controversy, including issues such as climate change, electoral politics, foreign policy, diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, immigration policy, marriage, or abortion.”
- Prohibiting all partnerships with Chinese universities and all study abroad programs in China
- Requiring that all students take a 3-credit American history or government course that includes a specified list of documents as assigned readings
- Requiring that all course syllabi include instructor’s name and biographical information, description of course requirements and major assignments/exams, required and recommended reading, and description of each lecture or discussion.
- Requiring state institutions to make public the syllabus for each undergraduate course, accessible through the main page of the institution’s website by use of no more than three links
- Requiring the Chancellor to develop a set of standard questions for state institutions to use in student evaluation of faculty. The evaluation must include this question: “Does the faculty member create a classroom atmosphere free of political, racial, gender, and religious bias?”
- Requiring institutions to publish on their websites the “average annual numerical score” from the student evaluations for each faculty member beginning August 1, 2024, and the same date annually
- Mandating an annual review process at all public institutions in Ohio that must use the categories “exceeds performance expectations,” “meets performance expectations,” or “does not meet performance expectations.” Student evaluations must account for at least 50% of the teaching evaluation component
- Requiring institutions to conduct post-tenure review if a tenured faculty member receives a “does not meet performance expectations” evaluation for a minimum of two of the past three consecutive years
- Requiring institutions to update their policies to express all faculty workload elements in terms of credit hours with a full-time 12-month workload minimum equal to 30 credit hours; faculty not on 12-month appointments will have workload prorated based on 30 credit hour formula
- Eliminating the fundamental right of faculty and staff at higher education institutions to strike
The bill is an attack on higher education. While the provisions are ridiculous, SB83 is also something that we, as UC Faculty, must take seriously given what has occurred in Florida and other states.
AAUP-UC will be working with the Ohio Conference, other colleges, and allies throughout the state to defeat SB83. Faculty are encouraged to use this Action Page to contact your State Senator. Watch for additional communications and action requests from the Chapter and Ohio Conference.
Issues such as this are why we have and need a strong AAUP-UC. Please CLICK HERE to join today.
Connie Kendall Theado