Faculty Were Not at the Decision Making Table

The Akron-AAUP would like to respond to recent statements made in the press by a University of Akron spokesperson.

The following was published in the Akron Beacon Journal at Ohio.com:

UA spokesman Wayne Hill said in a prepared statement Thursday that UA “has engaged the faculty in a meaningful and substantive manner at every step of the way” throughout the review. He noted that leaders of both the union and the Faculty Senate were on the executive committee that guided the review process.

We want to make the nature of our involvement unequivocally clear to our membership.

Our Chief Negotiator and Past President John Zipp was involved in the Academic Program Review (APR) process. He was not part of the final decision-making process that led to the decision to cut 80 academic programs, nor was any other member of the Akron-AAUP executive committee. The final decisions were made primarily by Interim President John Green and Executive Vice President/Chief Administrative Officer Rex Ramsier with input from Chand Midha, Vice Provost/Executive Dean-Liaison to Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences and Executive Dean of the Graduate School, Wayne Hill, Vice President/Chief Communication and Marketing Officer, and Nathan Mortimer, Vice President for Finance and Administration/CFO.

In an act of complete disregard for the Senate vote on APR in May, and in spite of repeated calls from Akron-AAUP to engage in strategic planning before making strategic decisions about areas of investment and disinvestment, the Administration chose to deliberate in conditions of total secrecy, with some input from deans, who were under strict orders not to discuss anything before the Board acted on the Administration’s decisions. As a result of the way this process was conducted, all faculty, including the executive committees of Akron-AAUP and Faculty Senate, learned about these program cuts the same way and at the same time that the general public did: through the UA Digest announcement and subsequent press releases issued two days ago.

While faculty leaders engaged in the process in an attempt to make it as fair and useful as possible, their criticisms of the process are strong and on the record.

The UA spokesperson’s quoted statements from the Ohio.com story may have technical accuracy in that faculty leaders were part of the flawed Academic Program Review process. Faculty leaders did NOT play a part in deciding how the resulting data from that process would ultimately be used.

The Akron-AAUP plans to continue to push for true shared governance and active faculty involvement in the decisions that shape the academic mission of our university. We hope you will all work with us as we demand the best for our students and community.

In Solidarity,

The Executive Committee of the Akron-AAUP