FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Release date: August 20, 2020
Contact: Ian McCullough, email@example.com
Phone: (615) 202-6413
Amid Tensions UA Faculty Agree: Administration Needs to Show Financial Transparency, Shared Sacrifice
Akron, Ohio – Frustrated by misinformation and division encouraged by the University of Akron administration, the University of Akron Chapter of The American Association of University Professors (Akron-AAUP) released data on August 20th from its own faculty survey. The survey, completed by over 85% of Akron-AAUP members, bears out faculty agreement on the administration’s lack of financial transparency, lack of shared sacrifice, and athletics spending decisions that continue to threaten the academic mission of the institution.
According to the survey, 80% of participating faculty agree that the University should release its monthly cash-flow statements so that the faculty, students, and Akron community have a clear view of the finances. Regarding athletics spendings, 81% agree that reducing spending on athletics programs (for example, by dropping to Division II) is better for students, the University, and the Akron community than firing full-time faculty. In terms of shared sacrifice, 82% of participating faculty agree that any concessions must be tied to pay cuts and/or furloughs for administrators and coaches earning over $150K annually.
Faculty are united around alternative solutions to financial challenges at the University that will sustain, rather than shutter, academic programs. According to Physical Sciences Librarian and Liaison Council Member-at-Large to the Akron-AAUP Executive Committee, “My faculty colleagues see straight through the administrative fog and recognize the problem isn’t faculty, but years of poor management. We rejected the layoff contract and want real data and real shared sacrifice going forward.”
On August 5th, the members of Akron-AAUP voted not to ratify the proposed collective bargaining agreement with The University of Akron Board of Trustees that aims to eliminate nearly one hundred tenured and non-tenure-track faculty from the institution. Based on their independent financial analysis, the chapter found no evidence of the university’s claimed $65 million dollar shortfall that would necessitate layoffs of 1/5th of the university faculty. The chapter and the administration will enter into arbitration this month.
The University of Akron Chapter of The American Association of University Professors is a faculty union of 350 tenured and non-tenure-track faculty formed in 2003 to advocate for the academic freedom, shared governance, and economic security of faculty at the University of Akron.