Mary King to be honored at national conference

Posted by  AAUP Oregon   in       May 17, 2014     2183 Views     Leave your thoughts  

Mary_KingOur own Mary King, past president of AAUP-Oregon, past president of PSU-AAUP, and current VP of Collective Bargaining for AAUP Oregon, is being richly  and deservedly honored for her leadership with two awards to be presented at the AAUP national conference in early June.  We all recognize what a difference her leadership has made.  It’s nice to have it recognized nationally.  Congratulations Mary! Below are excerpts from the announcements for the Marilyn Sternberg Award and the Georgina M Smith Award.

The Marilyn Sternberg Award 

Mary C. King is the recipient of the 2014 Marilyn Sternberg Award. The award was established in 1981 by the American Association of University Professors’ Collective Bargaining Congress and is given annually to the “AAUP member who best demonstrates the concern for human rights, courage, persistence, political foresight, imagination, and collective bargaining skills.” This is a national recognition for tremendous contributions to academic collective bargaining, the AAUP, and the profession at large.

Since her arrival at Portland State University in 1992, Mary King has been an indefatigable advocate of union activism, labor rights, and social justice, both in the university and at the community level.  Mary has served on the Executive Committee of PSU-AAUP on several occasions, including a recent term as Vice-President for Collective Bargaining. Her keen interest in labor issues goes well beyond her union and political engagement. As a labor economist, she has written extensively about women in the labor force and the gender dimensions of migration.

In her current role as PSU-AAUP President, Mary King has been pivotal in building a strategy to mobilize the membership around resistance to administrative pressure and achieving a successful contract. She is a leading voice in uniting the AAUP membership, students, and local community in their demands for student-centered education. Her leadership, enthusiasm, and dedication have galvanized many AAUP members to stand for the rights of our students to quality and affordable education, for the right of respect and dignity for academics, for the right of our local community to support and participate in a vibrant learning urban university. Her recent work in the state legislature on the increasingly worrisome issue of student debt is also highly regarded. Mary is an ardent advocate on behalf of core AAUP principles on campus and in the media.

The Georgina M Smith Award

The award is presented “to a person who has provided exceptional leadership in the past year in improving the status of academic women or in advancing collective bargaining and through that work has improved the profession in general”.  Rather than awarding such recognition annually, the Association reserves the distinction for those occasions when some accomplishment in either area is identified as so outstanding as to merit being singled out.  On behalf of the members of the selection committee, I want to express our admiration for your accomplishments as immediate past president of the Portland State University chapter of the AAUP, for your contributions in negotiating a contract with hard-fought gains, and for the encouragement you have provided to faculty engaged in collective bargaining throughout the country.

Anita Levy, for the selection committee


The Oregon State Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP Oregon) is the state-level organization of the AAUP. The Conference’s mission is to advance the collective interests of affiliated AAUP Collective Bargaining and Advocacy chapters, the principles and practices of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), and the overall interests of higher education faculty in Oregon through the promotion of excellence in higher education as an investment in Oregon’s future.