Friday, April 28, 2017

In the age of Trump, can labor unite?

In These Times
By Alexandra Bradbury
April 26, 2017

You know you're getting the short end of the stick as a worker, but you don't really know why," says Joe Tarulli, a Staten Island Verizon tech who's put in 17 years with the company.  "They make it seem like these rich people are just lucky they got the right chances, and these poor old working folks, nothing ever goes right for them.  No!  These corporations are doing it on purpose."

In These Times May 2017 Issue
Last spring Tarulli and 39,000 Verizon workers were forced out on a 49-day strike to fend off outsourcing and other concessions demanded by the company, even as it raked in billions of profits.  Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders walked the picket line with them to draw media attention to their battle against corporate greed.  But in the general election, Tarulli says many of his coworkers went on to vote for Donald Trump, who spoke to the anger that had motivated them to strike in the first place.  "Trump's a great communicator," says Tarulli.  "For a long time people felt ignored, even by their own unions, because these companies take advantage of them so badly."

Read the full article at the In These Times website here.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Worrisome Harbinger of Changes in Copyright Law

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Pamela Samuelson
April 23, 2017

With all the dysfunction in the White House and Capitol Hill this year, you might think that the copyright bills pending before Congress do not need your attention.  Think again.  Momentum is building for three of these measures, and their impact on institutions of higher education will not be welcome.

The most likely of the bills to pass (and scheduled this week) is the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017.  It has bipartisan support from 32 cosponsors in the House, and endorsement of three key members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  The bill calls for the Register of Copyrights to be a presidential appointee for a 10-year term, subject to Senate confirmation.  This bill has already been reported out of the House Judiciary Committee.

Boris Séméniako for The Chronicle
Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

After a Week of Protest, U. of Utah Cancer Researcher Is Reinstated

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Alex Arriaga
April 25, 2017

A week after the University of Utah announced that the chief executive and director of its Huntsman Cancer Institute was leaving her post, she's been reinstated.

"Effective today we have changed HCI's reporting structure, and Dr. Beckerle will report directly to the president of the university," the statement said.  "I am grateful for her committed leadership and look forward to working with her in the coming years."

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education website here.

This is a follow up to the article, Top Researcher's Departure Prompts Faculty Protest at U. of Utah Institute which can be read here.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Enrollment Declines, Transfer Barriers: Community College President's Survey

Inside Higher Ed
By Ashley A. Smith and Doug Lederman
April 21, 2017

Six in 10 leaders of community colleges say their enrollments have declined in the past three years, including 21 percent who say enrollment is down by 10 percent or more, according to Inside Higher Eds 2017 Survey of Community College Presidents.

The survey, conducted by Gallup, is based on responses from 236 leaders of two-year colleges, who were queried about recruitment, the future of free community college and the emerging talent pool for new presidents, among other topics.

Read the full article and survey results at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

In the DeVos Era, New Higher-Ed Policy Could Come From the Senate

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Adam Harris
April 24, 2017

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Recent moves by the Education Department have raised the alarms of students, advocates, and reformers alike.  But the executive branch is not the only place where policy is set.  In recent years, the U.S. Senate has taken the lead on policies that have left a sharp imprint on higher education.  So what will legislators be able to accomplish on higher ed this Congress?

The U.S. Senate Committee on Heath, Education, Labor, and Pensions has, over the last several years, successfully advanced a fair amount of bipartisan legislation.  But several early disputes may strain that bipartisanship, weakening the chances of reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.  The most recent act, which is the major piece of legislation governing policy on post secondary education, was set to expire in 2013, but was extended through last year to allow legislators more time to work on an updated version.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

2 Illinois Professors Were Laid Off. Then They Got Tenure. Now What?

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Sarah Brown
April 21, 2017
Holly Stovall, a professor of women's studies at Western
Illinois U., received word that she would be laid off about six
months before she got tenure. "The sense of betrayal is really
traumatic for me." she says.

On May 6, 2016, Holly A. Strovall received the news she'd spent much of her life working toward.

Jack Thomas, president of Western Illinois University, told the women's studies scholar that, after more than a decade on the faculty, she was one step away from receiving tenure.  Once the institution's Board of Trustees signed off, it would be official.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Resident Advisers Gain the Right to Unionize

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Peter Schmidt
April 21, 2017

George Washington U./ Getty Images
The right to unionize has been extended to resident advisers at private colleges, thanks to a National Labor Relations Board officer's decision involving George Washington University.

The unprecedented ruling, by Sean R. Marshall, acting regional director of the NLRB's Baltimore office, could open the door to efforts to unionize resident advisers and other undergraduate employees throughout private higher education.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Support for public higher education rose in 33 states and declined in 17 in 2016

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Illinois and Everyone Else
By Rick Seltzer
April 20, 2017

It's impossible to examine state higher education finances in 2016 without separating the collapse in Illinois from a more nuanced picture across the rest of the country.

State and local support for higher education in Illinois plunged as the state's law makers and governor were unable to reach a budget agreement and instead passed severely pared-down stopgap funding.  Educational appropriations per full-time equivalent student in the state skidded 80 percent year over year, from $10,986 to $2,196.  Enrollment in public institutions dropped by 11 percent, or 46,000 students.

Read the full article with a link to the report at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

AAUP Supports College For All Act

April 19, 2017

The AAUP endorsed the College for All Act, introduced this month by Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, which would make four-year public college free for families making less than $125,000 and make community college free for all.  Funding would come from a Wall Street speculation tax.  It would also student loan debts by cutting all student loan interest rates for new borrowers while also preventing the federal government from profiting off the student-loan program.  The College for All Act restores the promise that higher education is an accessible public good, not a privilege for the wealthy few.

Rudy Fichtenbaum, AAUP president said, "The College for All Act reaffirms our commitment to quality, public higher education as a right for all Americans.  It would expand access to higher education and would help former students already saddled with large student debt to refinance at rates that are offered for new student loans.  It would cut down on the abuse of adjunct labor and strengthen academic freedom protections by increasing the percentage of tenured and tenured-track faculty.  The AAUP is proud to endorse the College for All Act."

Read the College for All fact sheet here.
Read the College for All Act here.

Read the original article on the AAUP website here.

Baylor U.'s Pick as New President Will Be First Woman at Its Helm

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz
April 18, 2017

Linda A. Livingstone, dean and professor of management at the George Washington University School of Business, will be the new president of Baylor University, it announced on Tuesday in a news release.

She will be the first woman to serve as president of the Texas institution, the world's largest Baptist university, and will take office on June 1.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education website here.

Top Researcher's Departure Prompts Faculty Protest at U. of Utah Institute

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Alex Arriaga
April 18, 2017

After 11 years as chief executive and director of the University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute, Mary Beckerle will leave the posts, a move that has faculty members upset.

The university's senior vice president for health services, Vivian Lee, notified the faculty in an email on Monday but did not offer an explanation, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Read the f ull article at The Chronicle for Higher Education website here.

Berkeley Cancels Speech by Ann Coulter, citing Possibility of Rioting

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Chris Quintana
April 19, 2017

Citing security concerns, administrators at the University of California at Berkeley have cancelled a planned speech by the right-wing commentator Ann Coulter.
Photo: Fernando Leon

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that vice chancellors at the university emailed the student groups hosting the event on Tuesday night with the news of the cancelled event.

Read the full article at the Chronicle of Higher Education website here.

Faculty Union at Rider U. Votes No Confidence in University's President

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Alex Arriaga
April 19, 2017

Members of Rider University's faculty union have voted no confidence in the New Jersey institution's president, Gregory G. Dell'Omo, with 75 percent of the votes against him.

"A series of rash actions by President Dell'Omo and a decade of dubious financial management by his financial team has compelled Rider's faculty to pass the motion," the university's chapter of the American Association of University Professors said in a statement.

Read the full article at The Chronicle for Higher Education website here.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Black Colleges Grapple With Fresh Leadership Tensions

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Adam Harris
April 14, 2017
John S. Wilson Jr. former president of Morehouse College
(Paras Griffin, Getty Images)

Recent tensions at a handful of historically black colleges and universities have renewed concerns about the leadership troubles that have threatened to destabilize some HBCU campuses over the past year.

Read the article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

AAUP Releases Annual Faculty Compensation Report

The AAUP released their annual faculty compensation report on Tuesday, April 11.  This week, The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed have released articles on the report.  Links to all three are below.

Visualizing Change: The Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2016-17

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Faculty Salaries Barely keep Pace With Inflation

Inside Higher Ed
The More Things Change

American U Grad Students Unionize

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
April 11, 2017

Graduate student workers at American University voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, 212 to 40, they announced Monday.  Some 761 students were eligible to vote, according to information from the university.

The National Labor Relations Board said last summer that graduate student employees at private institutions are entitled to collective bargaining.  Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Black Professors at Kentucky State Vote No Confidence in Faculty Senate's President

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Adam Harris
April 7, 2017

Members of the Faculty Caucus of Color at Kentucky State University have voted to express the "highest confidence" in Karen Bearden, chairwoman of the Board of Regents, but no confidence in Kimberly Sipes, president of the Faculty Senate.

Last month the Faculty Senate at the historically black university, in Frankfort, Ky., voted no confidence in Ms. Bearden following a rocky presidential search.  Black faculty members on the campus said the vote was split almost entirely along racial lines.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

All Members of Faculty Senate at Gordon College Resign Their Posts

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz
April 7, 2017

All seven members of Gordon College's Faculty Senate resigned from their elected posts on Wednesday over disagreements with administrators over shared governance, The Tartan, the Massachusetts campus's student newspaper, reported.

According to The Boston Globe, the resignations came in an apparent show of support for a faculty member who says she was denied a promotion because she has criticized the Christian college's opposition to same-sex relationships.

Read the full article at The Chronicle for Higher Education's website here.

New York State is Set to Test Free Tuition

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Ian Withelm
April 9, 2017

New York is set to offer free tuition to public colleges for state residents who earn less than $125,000 a year, reports the Associated Press.  Under a deal between Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a democrat, and legislatures, students from such families will be able to enroll at campuses of the State University of New York or the City University of New York without paying tuition.

While other states allow free tuition to community colleges as well as other reduces tuition programs, the New York effort is being called the nation's first free-tuition program for middle-class families.  Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Universities Take Steps to Improve Working Conditions for Adjuncts

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Nell Gluckman
April 5, 2017

For years, Pennsylvania State University's faculty had watched the percentage of untenured professors in their ranks inch upward.  Then, about four years ago, that group was finally in the majority.  It was a wake up call.
Pennsylvania State U. Mary Miles, a senior lecturer in English
at Penn State's main Campus, has taught there for 15 years,
but she says she stillfields questions from students about
whether she is a "real professor."

"When you hit the point where you're majority fixed-term faculty, you've got some explaining to do," said Michael Bérubé, a literature professor who is chair of the University Faculty Senate's committee on faculty affairs.  "Either you come up with conversion to tenure or you come up with a good way of stabilizing and improving their working conditions and treating them like the professionals they are."

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Welcome Santa Fe Faculty! - AAUP

AAUP Updates
March 29, 2017

Full time faculty at Santa Fe Community College voted overwhelmingly today to form a union under the AAUP umbrella.  As a result, approximately fifty full time faculty at the college will now be represented by the Santa Fe Community College AAUP chapter.

The faculty won union representation by a vote margin of 93 percent to 7 percent.

Read the full article at the AAUP website here.

Cut to the Core

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
April 3, 2017

Even the best laid curricula can go awry, or at least get stale.  So colleges and universities review and revise their cores or general-education programs with some regularity.  And that's what professors at Long Island University's two major campuses had agreed to do in recent years.

Then things went off course with the unprecedented faculty lockout at LIU's Brooklyn campus in September over union contract issues.  Faculty-administrative relations, already tense, took a nosedive, and curricular revisions took a back seat.

Now in another blow to faculty morale and shared governance, professors say, the university's Board of Trustees has imposed a credit cap and timeline for the typically faculty-driven curricular review process at both the Brooklyn and C.W. Post campuses.

Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Twitter: Students protest LIU faculty lockout in Sept.

Koch Money Brings Distress Over a University's Well-Being Institute

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Peter Schmidt
April 4, 2017

For a place that takes its name from a Greek word fir happiness, the new Eudaimonia Institute at Wake Forest University certainly generates its share of tension and worry.

The unease stems not from anything the institute has yet done, but from its chief source of financial support: a $3.7-million donation from the Charles Koch Foundation, a major bankroller of university programs that promote libertarianism and faith in the free market.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

5 Pennsylvania Campuses Warn of Possible Faculty Layoffs and Program Cuts

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Alex Arriaga
April 3, 2017

Administrators form five Pennsylvania campuses notified the faculty union for the state's public-university system that layoffs could be expected by the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties released a reaction statement to the news that California, Cheyney, Clarion, Edinboro, and Mansfield Universities of Pennsylvania face potential faculty and program cuts.

Read the full article at The Chronicle for Higher Education's website here.

Wayne State's Move to Strip 5 Professors of Tenure Sparks Unease About a Broader Threat

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Sarah Brown
April 3, 2017

As Wayne State University takes the highly unusual step of trying to strip tenure from five medical-school professors who its president says are "abusing the tenure system," some faculty members on the campus say they're concerned that more tenure threats many not be far behind.

M. Roy Wilson, who has been the university's president since 2013, drew attention on Wednesday after a Detroit News article quoted him as saying that the five professors in question "not doing anything" and that "the bar is not that high."  Hearings for one of them took place on Wednesday and Thursday.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Wayne State U.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Trump Proposal to Cut Indirect Research Payments Would Hit State Universities Hardest

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Paul Basken
March 31, 2017

The Trump administration's plan to cut billions of dollars in research spending by eliminating indirect cost reimbursements would devastate university science, especially at public institutions, experts warned.

The U.S. secretary for health and human services, Tom Price, told Congress this week that the idea is to save taxpayers money while giving them the same amount of research activity.  Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Faculty 'Diversity Statements' Are Called Threats to Academic Freedom

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Peter Schmidt
March 30, 2017

The "diversity statements" that many colleges now require of applicants for faculty positions are coming under attack by traditionalists and conservatives as threats to academic freedom.

The Oregon affiliate of the National Association of Scholars has issued a report accusing colleges in that state and elsewhere of creating "ideological litmus tests" for faculty hiring and promotion by asking candidates for statements discussing their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Read the rest of the article at The Chronicle of Higher Education website here.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Degrees Lead on Wages

Inside Higher Ed
By Ashley A. Smith
March 29, 2017

While some states and colleges are focused on boosting certificates as a way to increase graduates' earnings more than shorter-term credentials.

A new paper from the Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment at the Community College Research Center, at Teachers College of Columbia University, found that women on average receive a boost of about $7,200 a year for an associate degree, about 26 percent more than the earnings of women who have some college but no degree.  Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Wayne State U. seeks to Revoke Tenure for a Third Time

Wayne State U. Seeks to Revoke Tenure From 5 Medical-School Professors

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Adam Harris
March 29, 2017

Wayne State University is trying to revoke tenure from five professors in the medical school for allegedly underperforming in their academic duties, according to The Detroit News.

Hearing to withdraw tenure from the professors began on Wednesday.  All told, the university is eyeing 37 members of the faculty at the medical school who could either retire or be terminated for "grossly underperforming."  The five faculty members were also included on a list of "60 to 80 unproductive medical school faculty" generated by the Detroit university last year, the report said.

AAUP Investigation Finds Adjunct Professor Fired for Not Lowering Expectation of Philosophy Class

Inside Higher Ed reports on an investigation conducted by AAUP at the Community College of Aurora.  The adjunct professor was fired immediately, without due process.

Fired Because He Wouldn't Dumb Down a Course?

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
March 29, 2017

Students may complain about courses that are too hard, but could fighting to maintain high standards actually get a professor fired?  A new report from the American Association of University Professors alleges that Colorado's Community College of Aurora terminated an adjunct because he refused to lower his expectations for his introductory philosophy class.  The report sets the stage for the AAUP to vote on censuring Aurora for alleged violations of academic freedom later this spring, but the college denies such charges.  It blames Nathaniel Bork's termination on his own teaching "difficulties."

Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

Community College of Aurora

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

15 years of success for UW center in recruiting, supporting female STEM faculty

UW Today
By James Urton
March 27, 2017

Late last year, the University of Washington's ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change quietly marked its 15th birthday.  But now, with thriving programs for early-career faculty and record numbers of female faculty in STEM fields, the center is ready to party.

Read the full article at the UW Today website here.

Deal Averts Non-Tenure-Track Strike at Ithaca

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
March 28, 2017

Ithaca College's new non-tenure-track faculty union reached a tentative contract agreement with the institution this week, averting a threatened strike.

Read the full article at the Inside Higher Ed website here.

A Defender of Impoverished Students, and a Scholar of Their Struggles

This is a video recap from Sara Goldrick-Rab's talk at SXSWedu.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Scott Carlson
March 27, 2017

Sara Goldrick-Rab, a sociology professor at Temple University, describes how college costs and financial-aid structures cut out low-income students.  This is part of a special series of video highlights from SXSWedu, produced by The Chronicle.

Regional Labor Panels Are Hailed as Likely to Improve Colleges' Relations With Adjuncts

The topic of contingent faculty representation was a panel discussion at the 44th annual conference of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions.  PSU-AAUP was in attendance at the conference, see our post here.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Peter Schmidt
March 28, 2017

When this city's construction companies need to hire plumbers, they turn to a single citwide union, United Association Local 1, to provide them.  As much as non-tenure-track faculty members might cringe at being compared to such workers, might they benefit from having colleges near them siliarly hire contingent faculty members from a single pool?

The idea of having colleges recruit contingent instructors from "hiring halls' like those used in construction trades- or, at the very least, create entities to collaboratively deal with such instructors' workplace concerns - drew remarkably strong interest here on Monday at a conference on academic labor negotiations.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education's website here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Higher Education Could Benefit form Its Own Climate Change

Academe Blog
By Brian C. Mitchell
March 22, 2017

Image from Inside Higher Ed
Higher education is misunderstood and struggling financially, but the majority of college and university presidents are increasingly confident that their institutions are financially stable.  These seemingly contradictions were found in Inside Higher Education's annual survey of 706 campus leaders.

Let's set aside the obvious political concerns among presidents about the Trump Administration or the selection of the new U.S. Education secretary that underscored many of the questions put to the presidents in the IHE survey, which was conducted in January and early February.

Read the full article at the Academe Blog here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Momentum Builds for May Day Strikes- Labor Notes

Momentum Builds for May Day Strikes

Labor Notes
By Jonathan Rosenblum
March 23, 2017

Shop steward Tomas Mejia sensed something was different when 600 janitors streamed into the Los Angeles union hall February 16- far more than for a regular membership meeting.  Chanting "Huelga! Huelga!" ("Strike! Strike!), they voted unanimously to strike on May Day.

This won't be a strike against their employers.  The janitors of SEIU United Service Workers West felt driven, Mejia says, "to strike with the community" against the raids, threats, and immigrant-bashing hate speech that the Trump administration has unleashed. 

Read the full Labor Notes article here.

Members of SEIU-USWW voted unanimously to strike this May Day.
They are encouraging other worker and community organizations to
mobilize for May 1. Photo: SEIU-USWW

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ithaca College Students Support the March 28 & 29 Strike by Contingent Faculty

Students React to Contingent Faculty Strike

The Ithacan
By Sierra Guardiola
March 22, 2017

Students at Ithaca College are in the midst of preparing for a strike being held by contingent faculty March 28 and 29.  While some are throwing their support behind the faculty, others are wary as to how the strike will affect their studies.

Seniors Taylor Ford and Catherine Proulx are both members of IC Students for Labor Action, a student organization involved in showing support for the contingent faculty.  Through many mediums, they have been trying to offer ways to educate and involve students on campus to support the efforts of the contingent faculty. 

Read the full article from The Ithaca here.

Senior Peter Zibinski addresses reporters at an event held to
support the contingent faculty union outside of an event celebrating
the IC 20/20 on March 2. (Sam Fuller/The Ithaca)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Adjunct Faculty Member Uses AAUP Foundation Legal Defense Fund and Wins

Robin Meade, Adjunct Faculty member and Union President, wins battle over termination for criticizing Moraine Valley Community College administration.

Another Victory for Adjunct Rights

Academe Blog
By Robin Meade
March 14, 2017

I can't title this article "I Won" because I already used that title.  But now I have won a $125,000 settlement and a reinstatement after being fired for criticizing the administration of Moraine Valley Community College.

The fact that I keep winning in court should provide everyone with hope and embolden those in the struggle to continue to fight.  The AAUP has my eternal gratitude for providing me with support through a grant from the AAUP Foundation Legal Defense Fund and the support of Committee A here in Illinois.

Read the full Academe Blog post here.

How should universities handle disruptive conduct?

An Inside Higher Ed article highlights viewpoints on the University of Chicago's report regarding discipline for disruptive conduct.   AAUP Academe blog co-editor, John K. Wilson, is quoted.  Links to all materials below.

Dealing With Disrupters

Inside Higher Ed
By Colleen Flaherty
March 22, 2017

As obstructionist protests of controversial speakers spread, some say the future of the trend depends on how colleges and universities respond - namely what, if any, disciplinary action they take against participants.  But just what action to take, and when, is tricky business.  Practically it can mean sorting through the chaos that often surrounds such events to find specific perpetrators; politically, it can mean wading into murky waters.

The University of Chicago has some ideas on how to proceed.  

Read the full Inside Higher Ed article here.

The AAUP Academe Blog posted Disruptive Conduct and the University of Chicago on March 19, 2017. 

The University of Chicago's report of the Committee on University Discipline for Disruptive Conduct can be found here

New Report on Gender Pay Gap

As reported locally yesterday, a University of Oregon Professor is claiming pay discrimination.  A new report by The Chronicle of Higher Education on the U.S. Education Department's data is below.

Gender Pay Gap Persists Across Faculty Ranks

The Chronicle of Higher Education
By Joshua Hatch
March 22, 2017

Faculty salaries increased 2.8 percent in 2015 over the previous year, according to the latest U.S. Education Department data.

The data show women's salaries grew at a slightly higher rate - 3 percent - than men's, but not enough to begin closing the gender pay gap.

Read the full article at The Chronicle of Higher Education website here.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Foundation Grants for Faculty Under Attack

March 21, 2017

In keeping with its mission to support principles of academic freedom and the quality of higher education in a free and democratic society, the AAUP Foundation welcomes grant applications from faculty impacted by the Trump Administration’s travel ban or by other threats to academic freedom. The Foundation accepts grant applications on a quarterly basis. The 2017 deadlines for each quarter are March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. 
As the AAUP emphasized in a recent statement about the travel ban, the free movement of people and ideas is an important element of academic freedom. Stories of faculty from Muslim-dominant countries stranded abroad or detained inappropriately at US airports contribute to an increasing climate of Islamophobia. The polarization of civic dialogue since the 2016 election has a chilling effect on academic freedom, as faculty are increasingly vulnerable to efforts by state legislators and groups such as Turning Point USA, funders of the Professor Watchlist, to target faculty whose ideas and curricula they oppose. AAUP Foundation grants may be able to provide financial assistance to faculty under attack, whether they are pursuing litigation or require immediate aid in a crisis.
Legal Defense Fund grant recipient Robin Meade

Read the full article here.

Gorsuch Poses Threat to Civil Rights, Workers Rights

March 17, 2017

Judge Neil Gorsuch has been proclaimed a “natural successor” to former justice Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court, and, unfortunately, would likely continue Scalia’s work to dismantle many of the protections extended to workers, the public, minorities, and the disabled.

In contrast to most of his colleagues, Gorsuch has restricted the laws protecting workers and the public by narrowly interpreting such laws and by refusing to defer to agencies enforcing them. As a result, he has generally ruled in favor of employers and corporations.

Read the full article here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Majority Vote for Graduate Union delayed by University- The Chronicle of Higher Education

With Trump Poised to Change the Legal Landscape, the Clock May Be Ticking on Graduate Unions

Ryan Flynn/New Haven Register via AP
When Columbia University graduate students went to the polls in December to decide whether to form a union, the landslide that ensued surprised even many activists.  Despite opposition by the administration, students voted by more than two to one to form a collective-bargaining unit.

More than three months later, however, they are no closer to a seat at the bargaining table. Read More

Friday, March 17, 2017

AAUP's Statement on the GOP Budget Proposal

No Surprise: "Skinny" Budget Undermines Science, Education, and the Public Good

President Trump released an initial budget proposal Thursday containing deep cuts that would severely damage scientific research, the arts and humanities, and access to higher education. 

Low-Income Students and Students of Color Lose Resources- The Chronicle for Higher Education

What Trump's Budget Outline Would Mean for Higher Ed

President Trump laid out the spending priorities for his administration on Thursday, releasing a budget "blueprint" that includes a $9-billion cut for the U.S. Department of Education, more than 13 percent, as well as decreases at several agencies that provide money for academic research, such as the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The administration’s outline also calls for eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Read More

Cuts to the National Endowments Will Impact Campuses and More- The Chronicle for Higher Education

Why It Matters that Trump Wants to Kill the NEA and NEH

Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
The National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities are no strangers to the political crosshairs. And it came as little surprise to many scholars that President Trump would propose to eliminate them in his first budget.
Still, the president’s plan is a stark statement of his values and, in it, campus and scholarly leaders see an attack on intellectual inquiry.
“This administration is saying we do not value the study and research in fields like history and literature,” says Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association. “We do not value the arts. We do not value educational opportunities for large swaths of Americans.”  Read More

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Chronicle of Higher Education's Analysis of the future for the CFPB

An Uncertain Future for Higher Education’s Federal ‘Cop on the Beat’
MARCH 16, 2017 

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is the federal agency that many Republicans, financial institutions, and for-profit colleges love to hate.

Just under seven years old, the bureau has already left its mark on broad swaths of higher education. It has uncovered abusive practices of student-loan-servicing companies; sued banks and for-profit colleges, accusing them of misrepresenting their student loans; created a complaint system for student borrowers that many consider a model for protecting consumer interests; and highlighted the often too-cozy business ties that colleges have in their deals with banks for student debit cards.
Through a flurry of reports, blog posts, enforcement actions, and lawsuits, the bureau has touched on programs and services that affect nearly every one of the 50 million Americans now holding a student loan or co-signing one, along with millions of others enrolled in college. While it’s impossible to deny the agency’s broad reach, it’s also not hard to find critics assailing it for overreach, sensationalism, and what one detractor calls an overreliance on "name-shaming press releases."  Read More

AAUP Affirms Opposition to Revised Travel Ban

New Ban, Same Discrimination

It’s still a ban. It’s still exclusionary. It’s still aimed at Muslim-majority countries. And it still has a chilling effect on academic freedom and the movement of people and ideas.
Under the new travel ban signed today, people from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Libya will face a 90-day ban on entering the United States. This despite a leaked Homeland Security draft report from last week that said that citizenship is an “unlikely indicator” of a threat and the fact that there are already stringent vetting procedures in place for people seeking visas to enter the US.

AAUP's Statement and Recommendations regarding Harassment of Faculty

 Targeted Online Harassment of Faculty

This statement addresses increasing concerns about efforts to intimidate and harass faculty. The Professor Watchlist website, claiming to identify professors who "advance leftist propaganda in the classroom" is one example of such efforts. The statement includes recommendations for administrations, governing boards, faculty bodies, and individual faculty members to defend academic freedom, condemn targeted harassment of faculty, and to prohibit surreptitious recordings of faculty and students.

Targeted Online Harassment of Faculty

The 2016 election has exacerbated a political climate that was already inimical to academic freedom. Six years ago the American Association of University Professors conveyed its concern that “the war on terror, the conflict in the Middle East, and a resurgence of the culture wars in such scientific fields as health and the environment” had created an atmosphere “in which partisan political interests threaten to overwhelm academic judgment.”[1] Since the election, we have seen a resurgence of politically motivated witch hunts against academic scientists working in fields such as climate change and fetal tissue research, where the implications of scientific findings are perceived as threats by entrenched interests and partisan ideologues. In addition to the “danger zones” for academic freedom enumerated in 2011, issues related to racial justice have also come to the forefront in the course of the last two years and played a prominent role in the most recent election. Read More

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Law Ending Teacher Tenure

Originally published on January 20, 2017 3:29 pm

The Kansas Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the state's largest teacher's union appealing a ruling on teacher tenure.

In a blow to teachers in Kansas, the state Supreme Court Friday upheld a 2014 law that stripped educators of due process before being fired.
In a unanimous ruling the court rejected an appeal by the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) that argued the law violated the constitutional ban of one bill covering more than one subject. KNEA claimed since the bill covered both appropriations and policy the act was unconstitutional.
In an opinion written by Justice Dan Biles, the court roundly rejected that argument ... read more