Welcome Back, Fall 2022

Welcome back to KSU for those who were able to find time away from teaching this summer and welcome to the fall term for those who did teach. Your executive committee at AAUP kept active over the summer and we have a couple of key issues to address in the coming year.  

Before we begin however let us remind you that the mandate of AAUP at KSU is one of monitoring and advocacy in two key areas: Academic Freedom and Shared Governance. Issues pertaining to both were active over the past year and continue into this one.  

The largest and most pressing is the censure of the entire USG system by the national AAUP. (See the attached AAUP report for more details) The censure was issued over the policy enacted by the USG pertaining to tenure and most particularly post tenure review. While the ins and outs of this policy are complex and nuanced, the censure was quite clear in indicating that the USG policy violated the definition of tenure as it was originally conceived in 1940 and how it has been practiced ever since. In addition, the censure stated that there was no real faculty input in the decision to challenge the traditional definition of tenure. Meaningful faculty input is required in making key policy decisions affecting faculty by any definition of shared governance. The impacts of both the censure and the policy are making their way through the system and there is currently a committee of faculty and administrators working on implementation of this new policy at KSU. The deliberations have been contentious and there is real concern that faculty voice will not be heard or heeded. This is an issue that we will continue to monitor and report on to you.  

We welcome your input on all issues and concerns so please don’t hesitate to be in touch (our e-mails and text numbers are at the bottom). We also have a website (www.aaupkennesaw.org) where we will post new information as it arises. In addition, we will have two meetings in the month of August where we can meet each other and also share concerns and ideas: 

Start of Semester Social Aug 23 Dry County Brewery 4:00-6:00

Online Business Meeting Aug 30 4:00-5:30 via Zoom (see AAUP listserv email for link)

One final note. It has come to our attention that in some meetings around campus faculty are being told to remember that AAUP is not their boss. That the USG is their boss. This seems to be in regards to the censure and whether or not faculty should listen to AAUP since they don’t work for them. Or that they should listen to USG when it states that tenure has not been effected and faculty should implement the policy because it is mandated by the USG who is their boss. 

We find this argument needlessly confusing. AAUP is no one’s boss. We are a faculty association working on behalf of faculty to assure that faculty have a voice in policies that affect them. As such we don’t expect faculty to see us as having any direct authority over their employment. When AAUP censures a university system it is not in any way an attempt to boss anyone around. Instead, it is a statement intending to give notice that faculty rights are being violated. What faculty choose to do about that rests with the faculty at each institution in question. As your AAUP executive committee it is our job to hear your voice, your proposals, and your concerns and assist you in strategizing ways that you might meaningfully impact the university where you work. That is the work of colleagues not bosses. 

In that regard we will hold an election in September. All positions of the board are open and officers serve two year terms: President, Vice President. Secretary, and Treasurer. Please let us know if you would like to run for one of these offices ASAP!! 

Looking forward to seeing you later this month! And if you haven’t, don’t forget to become a member.  (Information about joining/membership is available here: https://aaupkennesaw.org/about-the-chapter/dues/)  The more of us there are the more impact we can have! 

Your friendsAAUP Executive Committee

COVID-19 News: Mask Mandate Statement

At AAUP@KSU’s first business meeting of the semester last week (9/1), attendees registered strong agreement for the chapter’s release of a statement supporting the recent Faculty Senate resolution and calling for mandatory masking on campus.

That statement, sent to President Kat Schwaig and Provost Ivan Pulinkala on 9/2, read as follows:

 The KSU chapter of the AAUP joins the Faculty Senate in calling for a mask mandate for all indoor campus settings. 

AAUP@KSU President Tim Hedeen

The chapter asks that KSU faculty and staff members register their support for a mask mandate on campus by completing the this survey. Please share widely with colleagues.

Want more news, context, and upcoming events regarding COVID-19 response? See our additional resources page.

COVID-19 News: Additional Resources

The AAUP@KSU supports our Faculty Senate’s vote last week (9/1/2021) resolving that the USG should allow its campus presidents to decide on whether to institute mask mandates on their own campuses. Our chapter believes that given the COVID-19 surge in Cobb County, the least we can do to keep the community safe is require masks.

Here is some further reading:

“Cobb County declares state of emergency as COVID cases surge” by Matt Bruce, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Aug. 20, 2021)

“The faculty member who quit: State policy ‘literally becomes teachers die trying'” by Maureen Downey, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Aug. 27, 2021)

“UGA professor speaks out against dean, USG mask policy in open letter” by Joe Fu, The Red and Black (Sept. 3, 2021)

“KSU faculty senate votes overwhelmingly in favor of push for vaccine, mask mandates” by Thomas Hartwell, Marietta Daily Journal reprinted by Yahoo! News (Sept. 6, 2021

The Masked Professor v. the Unmasked Student” by Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times (Sept. 7, 2021)

Dr. Amber Schmidtke’s Twitter feed, currently focusing on COVID-19 data in Georgia

If you agree with the need for masks on campus, come join us for protests on the campus green next week following with coordinated AAUP protests across the state. If you can join us on any of those days, let us know by completing this form.

Also, you can indicate your support for our masking statement here.

October 2020 Membership Meeting

Our first general membership meeting of the 2020-21 academic year was held over Zoom on Oct. 27, at 5:30pm.

We covered:

  1. Introductions
  2. Report on recent chapter activity
  3. Highlights from Saturday’s GA AAUP meeting
  4. Open frame: new and continuing issues
  5. Upcoming events
  6. Membership opportunities

Tim Hedeen, our chapter president, delivered a slideshow for the first several agenda items which you can watch below in two installments:

Presentation, part 1
Presentation, part 2

Sept. 2019 Membership Meeting

Join us for our first general membership meeting of AY 2019/2020:

When: Tuesday, September 10 from 12:30pm-1:30pm
Where: K-Campus, Social Science Building (SS), 3033

The agenda for the meeting is forthcoming via email and will be posted to this page as well.

Our first social meeting of the fall semester will be Tuesday, September 17 from 4pm-6pm at Dry County Brewing Company in Kennesaw. We’ll have AAUP coffee mugs for new members and AAUP/Dry County pint glasses for everyone until we run out.

You can see all of the meetings scheduled for this semester here.

Business meeting, April 16

Our fourth business meeting of the semester will be held from 2pm-3:30pm on Tuesday, April 16, in SO 5074. Our agenda for the meeting will be . . .

1) Todd and Andy’s meeting with President Whitten and Provost Schwaig
2) Shared governance (Senate Ad Hoc Committee)
3) Workload Language 
4) Planning for the AAUP Social, Thursday, May 2, 4:00-6:00 pm, Dry County Brewery
5) AAUP for the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Business Meeting, March 19

Our third business meeting of the semester will be held from 2pm-3:30pm on Tuesday, March 19 in SO 5074. Our agenda for the meeting will be . . .

  1. Updates on the workload language for the faculty handbook. 
  2. Shared governance update.
  3. CHSS CFC’s Letter to the Provost on transparency and merit raises.
  4. Other Senate Items and Issues of Concern
  5. Planning End of the Semester Get Together. 

We look forward to your joining us for the discussion!

Business Meeting, Jan. 16

Our first business meeting of the semester was held on Tuesday, Jan. 16. The published agenda was as follows:

  1. Faculty and Departmental Issues arising from the Workload Document
  2. Faculty whose credentialing is affected by the off-site SACS report
  3. Curricular Review Process
  4. Issues the Campus Climate Change and Peacebuilding Group has had with advertising their workshop on campus
  5. Senate Updates
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