Chapter gives voice to UW-W faculty, professors

By Vesna Brajkovic

October 7, 2015

 

Twenty-nine UW-Whitewater faculty and staff from various departments filed into Hyland Hall 2101 on Sept. 29 for the kickoff of the American Association of University Professionals (AAUP) chapter.

AAUP is a national organization, developed in 1915, meant to develop the standards, values, procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom within universities, according to aaup.org.

“We have a fairly strong campus,” Vice President Elena Levy-Navarro said. “The gap this [organization] is filing is a state gap. We have worked already with UW-Madison and Milwaukee. So any ‘gap,’ then, is that there is no system in the state for faculty to come together and advocate.”

Chancellor Beverly Kopper stopped into the kickoff to show her support with an introduction speech. Before leaving early for another obligation, UW-Whitewater AAUP president and professor Beth Lueck presented Kopper with the Redbook, which contains all the policies and statements regarding tenure, academic freedom and shared governance.

“Regardless of job titles, or years of service or experience, certainly we know this has been a stressful time for everyone but we have a rich tradition of excellence here and we know we are all part of a very important family – the Warhawk family,” Kopper said on the biennial budget cuts that put tenure and shared governance into the national spotlight. “To sustain our success we certainly must work together to nurture and protect that sense of family, that is absolutely critical for our future. And now this new chapter of AAUP is providing an extra layer of support.”

The Redbook, according to Lueck, has been referenced at various Board of Regents meetings in recent months, particularly at the Tenure Task Force meetings in Madison.

The Tenure Task Force was appointed in March to recommend new Board of Regents policies regarding tenure.

James Hartwick, faculty senate chair, concluded the inaugural event. Because the senate acts as a liaison between the faculty and campus administration to aid in academic policies and campus planning, Hartwick spoke on how the senate and AAUP could work together.

“If you care about your students, you’re in this fight,” Hartwick said on the importance of faculty having a voice.

Membership for faculty and staff to join the local chapter is $20 and can be completed at uwwaaup.org/join-now.html. Although no opportunities for student membership are currently in place, Levy-Navarro said their chapter welcomes student input and participation.

For more information visit uww.aaup.org.

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