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

Hi folks, I realize not all of you are members of the Akron-AAUP, but this is vital to the whole University community.  Regardless of your political affiliation or even feelings about the content of the bill, I think we can all agree that politicians should not govern what we do and don’t do in higher education.  At least I hope we can all agree to that.  Here is some important updated information for you to know.

Sara Kilpatrick, who is the Executive Director of the Ohio Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) spoke to Sen. Cirino’s office earlier this afternoon (Tuesday, April 11). His aide told her that they intend to hold the SB 83 opponent hearing on Wednesday, April 19 after Senate session. They will announce the exact time no later than Friday. Senate session begins at 2pm, so the hearing will probably be scheduled around 3pm. I will let you know as soon as I hear more specifics.

Attached are three items: 

1) A testimony template to follow for formatting your written testimony.

After the basic information in the template, you can launch into why you oppose the bill. You can write about direct and indirect impacts to your teaching, program, and institution, with emphasis on how it would negatively impact student learning. You are welcome to address specific pieces of the bill as you see fit.

2) A witness slip for the committee that you will have to fill out and submit with your testimony to the chair’s office.

On the witness slip, for “Today’s Date” you will put the date of the committee hearing. You can write “N/A” for organization you are representing. Check off the appropriate line as to whether you’re submitting only written testimony or if you are giving in-person, oral testimony, too (“Both”). And of course, mark that you are testifying as an opponent to the bill. 

3) A flyer for the upcoming “Save Ohio Higher Ed” event this Thursday, April 13 at 6:00 pm. 

This is a forum to learn more about SB 83, and there also will be a testimony workshop component at the end that you might find helpful, particularly if you plan to testify in person. You can register here

I will email you again when we have official notice of the opponent committee hearing and provide further instructions for submitting your testimony. In the meantime, feel free to contact me (Toni or Sara at sara@ocaaup.org) with questions.  But for now to be on the safe side, email your testimony, along with the witness slip, no later than 2pm on Tuesday, April 18 to: Jake.Dowling@ohiosenate.gov

If you intend to testify in person, please let me (or again, Sara directly) know that ASAP. Cirino’s office is allowing Sara to compile a priority witness list. In other words, he’s letting the AAUP choose what order witnesses will testify in. She is working with a broad coalition to structure this in a way that will be most effective.

In Solidarity with ALL OF US.


Toni L. Bisconti, Ph.D.

Akron-AAUP PresidentAssociate Professor of Psychology

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