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!
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