Akron AAUP Protecting Academic Freedom For a Free Society
The University of Akron Chapter |
American Association of University Professors

Dear Colleagues,

In the midst of all the rapid changes that the University has discussed these past few weeks, Akron-AAUP wants to keep our members as up to date as possible. As you may recall from a recent email, we formed a “Crisis Negotiation Team” consisting of Chief Negotiator Katie Stoynoff (Professor of Instruction, English), Kate Budd (Associate Professor, Art), Doron Narotzki (Assistant Professor, Accountancy), Bill Rich (Emeritus Professor, Law), and Pam Schulze, (Professor, Child and Family Development).

The Crisis Negotiation Team has the following updates to share:

  • The team is tentatively scheduled to meet with the administration again this week.

  • We have made numerous data requests to the administration, including asking for solid numbers about the savings from the proposed reorganization. We continue to urge you to comment on the Provost’s Brightspace page and speak with your representatives on Faculty Senate regarding the potential reorganization.

  • We will be holding town hall sessions for us to hear your concerns; look for announcements coming soon.

  • We are aware of the request to units to prepare budgets that are 25% less than FY 2020. At about the same time, Faculty Senate was told that the university is committed to staying in Division 1 athletics. We are disappointed about this decision and will continue to raise our objections to cutting the central academic mission of the university while preserving non-essential functions. Please see the graphic below (the data come from UA’s audited financial statements) to see the changes in spending for operational, instructional and athletic expenses between 2015 and 2019.

As you can see, across the past five years declines in UA total expenses basically match the declines in enrollment — with support for teaching and research decreasing 30 percent more than overall operating expenses. In contrast, overall athletic spending increased by 9.4 percent and direct institutional support for athletics increased by 17.6 percent across this same period.  Putting these two together if instructional support and direct institutional support for athletics declined at the same rate as overall expenses, in 2019 there would have been $11 million more spent on instruction/research and $9 million less on athletics. 

The situation is changing quickly, so please check your email regularly for updates and information. These emails may end up in your “clutter” folders, so be sure to check there too.

In Solidarity,

The Communications Committee of Akron-AAUP

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