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

John McVay, President of The Ohio Conference of AAUP sent the following letter to Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Dear Gov. Kasich:
I am writing on behalf of the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which represents approximately 4,500 college and university faculty across the state of Ohio.
I recently read of your appointment of Mr. E. Gordon Gee to lead an initiative that addresses college “affordability” and “relevance.”  First, I commend you for your focus on higher education issues.  I agree with you that we cannot maintain the status quo.
Students must have access to an affordable college education, which has always been the promise of the Ohio public university system.  Unfortunately, though, the decline in state support, the pervasive problem of “administrative bloat,” and the consistent misallocation of resources to issues peripheral to the educational enterprise at our institutions has driven up the price of tuition to the point of saddling graduates with massive debt, or worse, dissuading people from choosing to pursue a degree in the first place.  
I fear that the aforementioned problems, which are the most well-documented and agreed-upon causes of skyrocketing tuition and waste in the higher education system, are being ignored.  Problems cannot effectively be addressed if the causes are continually misidentified.
I also fear that faculty could be left out of discussions of “relevance,” which could have implications on things like course offerings, degree options, and teaching methods.  While I believe that higher education has room to grow in terms of innovation, we must steer clear of schemes like Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that have not delivered what they promised.
While Mr. Gee had many accomplishments as president of The Ohio State University, he is often cited, for good reason, as one of the contributors to the national problem of “administrative bloat.”  Instead of fighting for more state funding and trying to eliminate bureaucracy and unnecessary administration at his former institution, Mr. Gee pursued gimmicks, like leasing the university’s parking system for one-time money.
While we can appreciate that Mr. Gee has a perspective on higher education issues, my association is concerned that unless you include professors and students in this process in a meaningful way, you will not be able to effectively address these issues; and certainly, you cannot build consensus around long-term solutions that serve the public’s interests unless all stakeholders are invited to participate.
I hope that you will call upon my association, as well as other faculty and student organizations, to contribute to your much-needed effort of addressing Ohio’s higher education woes.
John T. McNay, President

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