Hello AAUP Oregon!
We’ve been very busy these last few months, and I hope this update conveys how much your membership makes a difference in higher education in Oregon.
Here is a quick glimpse at what has been going on:
- preparing for the election of officers and our annual meeting;
- in the last 2 months, our leadership and staff have kicked off first-time contract negotiations at Oregon State University, and Oregon Institute of Technology faculty are moving quickly toward the opening of their negotiations;
- AAUP-Oregon leaders and staff have engaged members and chapters to endorse dozens of bills, work with allies in coalitions to advance interests of academics in Salem (see more in Legislative Update for more details);
- our legislative team and AAUP-Oregon members joined thousands in Salem on February 18 to rally for education funding at the state capitol. Alongside students we then lobbied our representatives in the House and Senate to understand the need for more higher education funding;
- our legislative team has submitted written testimony on numerous bills and presented verbal testimony at committee hearings in Salem (see testimonies on our website);
- a few days ago, we, along with partners in public higher education, testified on the need for a bigger commitment from the state for K-20, not just K-12, education;
- we have worked with chapter leaders at a couple campuses to push back on short-sighted administrative approaches to budget challenges;
- and we just raised an alert with faculty leaders at colleges and universities across the Northwest concerning the omission of academic freedom and faculty governance from accreditation standards by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (read here about our call to action across the Northwest and here about the NWCCU response).
Of course, we are all volunteer member-leaders who rely on the support of our exceptional staff, lobbyist Chris Parta, and AAUP’s Jim Bakken. A big thank you for their commitment and extraordinary efforts in helping us advance the best of collegiate life by advancing the interests of academic professionals, faculty, and graduate employees across Oregon.
On other exciting national news, the University of New Mexico Faculty File for Union Election. Organized as United Academics of the University of New Mexico, a clear majority of faculty declared their support for unionization in an official election petition filed in February. The chapter is affiliated jointly with the AAUP and the American Federation of Teachers. The bargaining unit comprises more than 1,600 full- and part-time faculty on five campuses—UNM’s main campus in Albuquerque, and campuses in Gallup, Los Alamos, Taos, and Valencia.
The faculty hope to strengthen student supports, tenure and promotion, faculty recruitment and retention, and job security to provide the best possible environment for teaching, learning, research and outreach across New Mexico. Faculty had hoped to hold an election this academic year, but objections from their Administration threaten to delay recognition of their union.
We look forward to welcoming the UNM faculty to the AAUP family and to working with them to achieve their goals!
Hope to see you at our annual meeting in Portland in a few weeks and learn more about some of the great work we are doing across the state.
President, AAUP Oregon