President’s Column: end-of-year despair…and much hope

Posted by  Margaret Butler   in       Dec 18, 2016     1915 Views     Comments Off on President’s Column: end-of-year despair…and much hope  

by José Padin, President

At a moment when national political developments are cause for pessimism, it is easy to forget we have many things to celebrate this year in Oregon.

In 2016 …

AAUP-Oregon helped host a very successful annual gathering of the national AAUP in Portland, the Summer Institute, which consists of several days of workshops to strengthen the organizing and successes of local chapters.

We were joined this year by a new organizer for the Pacific Northwest region, who has helped us support faculty, academic professionals, and graduate students building new AAUP chapters at five colleges and universities.

The Graduate Employee Union (GEU) at Portland State University successfully got recognition, and is off to bargaining a first agreement with the university.

AAUP chapters at the University of Oregon and Portland State University raised their membership to historic heights.

AAUP-Oregon was very active supporting candidates for statewide office in Oregon; candidates who are supportive of high quality and just universities. In preparation for the 2017 legislative session, we are active meeting with legislators, the Governor’s office, with students and other members of a “higher education coalition.”

The course of national politics seems very unfavorable to the cause of high-quality, debt-free, higher education. This means that efforts at the state level will be more important than ever. States are now the bulwark for the defense of the democratic right to higher education, and as AAUP-Oregon we are ready to enter 2017 with every intention of winning that perennial battle!