There is no outside enterprise hired to represent your interests. Our relationship to the national AAUP organization is one of affiliation. Everything accomplished by the faculty union has been and is being done solely by University of Akron faculty volunteers. If you wonder what the union is doing for you today, look in the mirror. You are the faculty union. There is noone else.
Your chapter can always use your skills and experience. We need your skills and experience if we hope to represent the interests and well-being of a very diverse and complex population of scholars, teachers and researchers. If your full membership dues are paid you are eligible to stand for election to department liaison or the executive committee. Contribute a piece to the chapter newsletter and join the membership committee. Which of you will step forward to form and prosecute the functions of Committee A on academic freedom? Who will help to document and analyze disparities in pay and propose redress for gender inequities in hiring, promotion and compensation?
The legislative attacks on public sector employees—that’s you, white collar and all-–are not over: Unions are under attack, funding for education is cut again and again at every governmental level. Our students graduate burdened with terrible debt. Buildings are erected at tremendous cost, while classroom space is eliminated and once productive, sometimes still productive departments face increasingly severe budget cuts and dissolution.
Of course, more, and ever more Vice-Presidents are hired, despite administration complaints of budgetary restrictions.
The value of higher education is eroded by the disrespect and ignorance of public officials and often as well by the decisions of the university administration. Faculty numbers diminish while the administration continues to grow, to no clear advantage and at enormous and entirely indefensible cost to taxpayers, our students and their parents. And the burden of budgetary shortfalls is placed on colleges and departments– on you.
Take a chance. Say something. Step up and do something about it. If you don’t, no one will. There is no outside agency that is paid to protect you and defend your rights. YOU ARE THE FACULTY UNION. What are you prepared to do in defense of your own rights and privileges? There’s no place for fear on a university campus, especially if you possess the extraordinary privilege of tenure. You and your students are the lifeblood of this university. It is the faculty, after all, who have made a lifetime commitment to the University of Akron and our community. You should do whatever it takes to make the administration acknowledge that.
Join Akron-AAUP today. It’s hard work and it’s work worth doing.