The Importance of Research

The University of Akron community is being asked to make painful decisions regarding how we allocate our resources. The decisions we make now will shape this institution for years to come. Examining our institutional priorities, then, is essential to this endeavor.  One priority that can easily be lost in discussions about our fiscal challenges is our responsibility to support and encourage research and other scholarly and creative endeavors among our faculty as well as our students. That part of our mission is at the heart of everything else we do; it is the lifeblood of any research university. It is also the engine that drives economic advancement.

The role of research universities.

Robert Berdahl, former President of the Association of American Universities, highlighted the key role that research universities play, not only for higher education itself but also for our society as a whole, in his 2009 essay, “Research Universities: Their Value to Society Extends Well Beyond Research.”  The public seems to understand how research in the natural sciences helps us to cure diseases, address our energy needs, and create the new technologies that promote economic growth.  But, equally importantly, few of these solutions can be effective without other areas of research such as the social sciences.

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Akron-AAUP Faculty Member Spotlight: Andrew Rancer

By Israa Eddeb & Sofia Syed, Akron-AAUP Interns and Julie Cajigas

Dr. Andrew Rancer’s key to teaching is getting his students excited. Rancer is a professor in the School of Communication at the University of Akron who teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses, and directs master’s students in their projects and theses. He also serves as the chair of the scholarship committee for the School of Communication, and has served in many roles over the years. Contemporary Communication Theory, the second edition of a text he co-authored with School of Communication Director Theodore A. Avtgis, Dominic A. Infante, and Erina L. MacGeorge has just been released. Even with his many involvements, and rigorous research and writing calendar, motivating his students to develop a passion for their coursework is his primary objective.

Professor Andrew Rancer (right), with his co-author Theodore Avtgis, School of Communication Director

Professor Andrew Rancer (right), with his co-author Theodore Avtgis, School of Communication Director

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Fall 2016 Chapter Meeting

Fall 2016 Chapter Meeting
Monday, October 17 at 1 p.m. in Student Union Ballroom B

Our fall chapter meeting will be held Monday, October 17, 1 – 3:00 pm, in Student Union Ballroom B. A light lunch will be served. Please note, this is a members only event, but membership forms will be available at the door for those who wish to join the chapter. (Feel free to bring new hires who are not members so that they can join!).

The agenda is available HERE.

Minutes from the Spring 2016 Chapter Meeting are available for review HERE.

Akron-AAUP Response to the Appointment of Matthew J. Wilson as Interim President of The University of Akron

The Akron-AAUP extends a warm welcome to Interim President Matthew J. Wilson. Given recent challenges at The University of Akron, Dr. Wilson is a strong transitional figure. His background and experience as a faculty member and administrator positions him to work with the faculty to restore trust between the campus community and the university leadership, and to begin much needed improvement to shared governance at The University of Akron.

The faculty of The University of Akron are deeply committed to student success and a bright future for this institution. We see the appointment of a leader with academic experience as a sign that we have been heard. Now, we must continue to be a part of a conversation that will focus on the educational mission of the university and build on its considerable existing strengths to ensure an excellent learning environment for our students.

The Akron-AAUP looks forward to working closely with Dr. Wilson to unify The University of Akron leadership, campus and community, so we can move forward as one.

Akron-AAUP response to the resignation of President Scott Scarborough

In response to the announcement regarding the resignation of Dr. Scarborough, the Executive Committee of the Akron-AAUP welcomes the opportunity to work with Interim Provost Rex Ramsier and the university community to turn the page and move forward as one.

The faculty of The University of Akron are deeply committed to our students’ success and invested in the future of this institution. Accordingly, the faculty must be a part of the conversation that will focus on the educational mission of the university and build on its considerable existing strengths to ensure an excellent learning environment for our students.

We look forward to discussing the future of the university with Interim Provost Rex Ramsier and the Board of Trustees, and to playing a significant role in the appointment of an interim President, and ultimately, a permanent President for the University.

New Collective Bargaining Agreement Signed and Available Online

The much anticipated fourth Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University of Akron administration and the Akron-AAUP, approved by both parties in April, has now been completely collated and signed. You may find it here, on the Akron AAUP website, under “Current Contract.”

Or, you can download it here.

We again thank Kevin Kreider and the Negotiation Team for their outstanding work in procuring such a strong contract for all of us.

It’s been a busy and challenging semester – through collective action, we’ve achieved a lot. We thank you for your support, and wish you a happy and fruitful summer!

Results of the Spring 2016 “Faculty Opinion on the State of the University” Survey

To help address continuing concerns about the actions and future plans of the administration at The University of Akron, the Akron-AAUP has conducted a third campus-wide survey of the faculty, following up on surveys conducted in the spring of 2015 and the fall of 2015. The results of the survey, shared here and also with the community, offer a gauge of faculty sentiment on a wide range of important issues facing the University.

Along with the majority of the faculty, the leadership of the Akron-AAUP believes the situation at the university is worsening, and we encourage the Board of Trustees to take the steps necessary to rectify the situation. There is much work to be done to repair the damage done during the past year and a half—we must begin this work as soon as we possibly can. Only by including faculty in the process will we be successful.

Thank you to all who participated in the survey.

Brief summary of the survey results:

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UA Board of Trustees – Akron-AAUP Finalize Collective Bargaining Agreement

The University of Akron Board of Trustees and The University of Akron Chapter of The American Association of University Professors have concluded the process of negotiating a new labor agreement by affirmative ratification votes of both parties.  The membership of the Akron-AAUP voted in favor of ratification in an electronic vote that ended Wednesday, March 23.  The University’s Board of Trustees approved the agreement at a special Board meeting held today.

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