2021 UConn-AAUP Executive Committee Election/Bios & Statements of Candidates
MARY ELLEN JUNDA: PROFESSOR
UConn-AAUP: President 2020-2021; Vice President 2019-2020; Executive Committee – elected 2014-16; appointed 2013.
University: Faculty Review Board (2016-2019); Public Engagement and Outreach (2018); GEOC CA4 Committee and Co-Chair (2010-2020); SFA Diversity Committee (2017-21), SFA Courses and Curriculum Committee (2009-2014), SFA Vision Committee (2010-2013), SFA Grant Review Committee (2012), UCRF HFA Grant Review Committee (2010-2012, 2020). SFA Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (1997-2002); Coordinator of Music Education (2003-2006).
Statement: “Serving as UConn-AAUP President during the past year has been both an honor and a challenge as we navigated a pandemic and civil unrest while working to support our members during this unprecedented time. UConn-AAUP has worked diligently as a partner to the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic by advocating for negotiated salary increases, instructor choice in teaching modalities, and the tenure-clock extension. We continue to negotiate a MOA with the administration to provide support for faculty who are facing numerous obstacles in their teaching, research and with own health during the Spring 2021 semester and beyond. Our advocacy is even more critical during upcoming years with the large number of retirements anticipated in 2022 and the implementation of a new strategic plan, both occurring while financial resources from the state continue to dwindle.
During 2021-2022, the chapter will focus primarily on four areas: 1) membership retainment and recruitment; 2) compensation equity; 3) faculty support and workload responsibilities; and 4) advocacy. UConn-AAUP must not only strive to keep all members a part of the union (including coaches and trainers), but to expand the membership to be able to maintain the level of service and representation our members need and deserve. As new hires are welcomed to the university, we need to ensure that our current members are compensated fairly and that salary compression is not perpetuated. Tenure-track, in-residence, clinical, and adjunct faculty must be provided with the support necessary to continue on their professional paths to promotion and tenure or multi-year contracts. Additional workload matters needing attention include protecting intellectual property rights; monitoring teaching loads, instructional modalities and course capacities; and the PTR and P&R review process. We must continue to be a strong presence at the state to ensure that our Governor and Legislators fully recognize the value of our faculty and academic programs and provide the necessary funding to maintain our reputation as a leading research university.”
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
JEFFREY O. G. OGBAR: PROFESSOR
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee Member 2015-2017, 2020-2021- Executive Vice President.
University: Founding Director, Center for the Study of Popular Music (2014-); Member, Dean Kersaint Review Committee, 2020; Member, UConn Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (2019-); Member, Graduate Faculty Council (2019-); Member, President’s Athletic Advisory Committee (2015-18); Vice Provost for Diversity (2012-2014); Associate Dean for the Humanities, CLAS (2009-2012); Director, Institute for African American Studies (2003-2009); University Senate (2009-2012); chair, Senate Committee on Growth and Development (2009-2012); member, search committee for University President, (2010); member, Provost Commission on Public Engagement (2009-2011); member, search Committee for Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police, 2011; member, Global Citizenship Curriculum Committee, 2009-2011; member, Provost Task Force on Teaching Learning Assessment, 2006-2009; chair, Search Committee for Director of Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, 2005-2006; member, Provost Task Force on Teaching Learning Assessment, 2006-2009.
Statement: “I have enjoyed serving as Executive Vice President over the last year. While working in this capacity, I have been reminded of the importance of our union, especially during some of the most difficult circumstances we have seen in generations. Through the exigences brought on by the pandemic—fiscal and otherwise—I have witnessed the essential need for strong union leadership to advocate for our AAUP membership. I have valued witnessing AAUP leadership who have been directly involved in negotiations, as well as the general tasks of advocating for a safe and healthy work environment. I continue to value open and engaged leadership with its membership with clear, cogent goals and vision. This past year of service has made me more familiar with the duties, challenges and critical needs of our membership, and the broader charge of union leadership. I hope to continue to serve the Union and its constituency to the best of my ability in the coming term.”
VICE PRESIDENT/MEMBERSHIP & ORGANIZING
LOUISE SIMMONS: PROFESSOR
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK / HARTFORD
UConn AAUP: Executive Council 2018-2021; Vice President for Organizing and Membership Development (elected by Executive Council) 2020-2021
University: Public Engagement Forum, 2012-2015; Member, Bachelors in Professional Studies Program, Employment and Labor Education, Concentration Oversight Committee, 2010-2011; Member, School of Allied Health Advisory Committee, 1996-2000; Member, Urban & Community Studies Committees, Storrs and Tri-Campus, 1998-Present; Search Committee for Dean of the School of Social Work, 2007-2008
Statement: “The AAUP faces a number of challenges both locally and nationally, as do other unions. We need to maintain a high level of membership among the faculty and the other professionals at UConn that we represent. We need to engage our membership and encourage new members to become active in our UConn-AAUP chapter so that all of us understand the benefits of membership. If we want to preserve our collective bargaining rights, challenge unfair personnel issues, preserve academic freedom and all of the other rights that we have, an active membership is the way we can do that. In this recently created position, I hope to help engage our members, get back members we lost due to the Janus decision, and make sure that we continue the progress we’ve made in recent years. A strong AAUP chapter is good for the faculty, the students and the future of Connecticut.”
OSKAR HARMON: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
ECONOMICS / STAMFORD
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (2012-19, 2020-2021), On-Line Education Bargaining Team (2012-14), Nominating Committee (2013-2015, 2017-19), Member Recruitment Committee (2015-2019), Treasurer (2016-19, 2020-2021).
University: Faculty Salary Equity Steering Committee (2020-2021), Career Development Champion (2018-present), Service Learning Fellow (2014 – present), University Software Licensing Group (2008-17); University Mobile Device Steering Committee (2011-14); University eCampus Steering Committee (2012-13), Online Instruction University Senate Subcommittee (2011-12).
Statement: “Technology and COVID are changing instruction, and state fiscal woes are tightening education budgets. The UConn-AAUP must continue its strong support of faculty involvement as the administration and state legislators address the important issues of expenditures on academics, diversity, and collective bargaining. A top priority is growing our membership and strengthening existing protections in our CBA. A second priority is maintaining the share of expenditures on academics, which is essential to supporting excellence in instruction and research. A third priority is addressing inequalities related to gender and ethnic diversity. A fourth priority is promoting faculty inclusion in regional campus governance. The UConn-AAUP needs to be a strong advocate for advancing the faculty role in university governance, and protecting and expanding the job security, benefits and due process rights of our members.”
REGIONAL CAMPUS REPRESENTATIVE
SUMAN MAJUMDAR: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
STATISTICS / STAMFORD
UCONN-AAUP: Summer and Intersession Compensation Negotiating Team (2013), Contract Committee (2015), Contract Negotiating Team (2016-17), Executive Committee (2017-21), Constitution Committee (2018-19, 2019-20), Contract Action Team (2020-21), Contract Negotiating Team (2020-21, Alternate Member).
University: Senate (2003-06, 2009-12, 2018-21, 2021-24), Senate Faculty Standards Committee (2004-05, 2009-12, 2018-19), Senate Scholastic Standards Committee (2005-06), Senate Evaluation of Teaching Subcommittee (Chair, 2009-11), CLAS Academic Advisory Board (2014-15), General Education Oversight Committee (2019-21).
Statement: “While the Biden/ Harris administration is likely to support many causes we cherish, we have to continue our advocacy work at the grassroots level. State support for UConn continues to shrink, which creates the unfortunate dynamic wherein budgetary allocations, more often than not, become a zero-sum game. In this environment, UConn-AAUP must partner with the University leadership to vigorously advance at Hartford the cause of securing as much financial support for the University as we can. At the same time, UConn-AAUP has to remain vigilant so that the justified needs and aspirations of our members are given due importance in the decision-making process and goals, no matter how lofty, are not pursued to the detriment of our economic security.”
JESSICA D. AGUIRRE: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN RESIDENCE
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee Member (2020-present), EHS Committee Member (2020-present)
University: University Interdisciplinary Courses Committee (2018-present); Academic Integrity Hearing Board (2018-present); Scholarship Application Review Committee, Hartford, (2016-2020); Dismissal Committee, (2016-2020); STEM faculty mentor (2019-2020)
Statement: “As an Assistant Professor in Residence improved job security and recognition for non-tenure track faculty is one of my main concerns. Non-tenure track faculty provide vital multifaceted contributions to the university that commonly go unrecognized. UConn-AAUP can support their work by advocating that departmental bylaws include reasonable workload and compensation formulas for all members of the professoriate. Second, attaining and maintaining a diverse faculty is an important goal for UConn. UConn-AAUP’s monitoring of gender and racial/ethnic disparity in our hiring, retention, promotion and merit processes is essential to the University’s mission. Achieving that diversity is a long-term commitment, and one that requires ongoing efforts in all areas of the university, including UConn-AAUP”
AMVROSSIOS (ROSS) C. BAGTZOGLOU: PROFESSOR
CIVIL & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
UConn-AAUP: Elected Member, Executive Committee, 2020-present; Member, Contract Committee, 2020; Chair, Compensation Sub-Committee, 2020; Member, Representatives’ Assembly, 2015-2016.
University: Chair, Engineering Dean’s PTR Advisory Council (2019-2020); Member, UConn President’s Emeritus & Retirement Committee (2016-present); Advisor, Tau Beta Pi – the Engineering Honor Society (2017-present); Department Head (2009-2019); Member, General Education Assessment Task Force (2015-16); Member, Engineering Dean’s PTR Advisory Council (2008-09); Member, Environmental Policy Advisory Council (2009-16); Member, UConn Provost’s Executive Committee for Academic Plan Implementation on Environment (2007-08); Engineers w/o Borders Inaugural Advisor (2006-09); Inaugural Member of UConn Interdepartmental Courses & Curricula Committee (2006-08); Member, CT Institute of Water Resources Advisory Board (2006-present); Director of Interdisciplinary Environmental Engineering Program (2005-09); Ad Hoc Reviewer for UCRF Major Grants (multiple years); co-PI of NSF program “Innovation Beyond Accommodation: Leveraging Neurodiversity for Engineering Innovation” (2020-present).
Statement: “In my statement last year I expressed concerns about President Katsouleas’ very ambitious target of doubling our research enterprise in 10 years without securing appropriate resources and investments in our faculty. Unfortunately, due to the Covid pandemic the situation has worsened and my concerns remain. UConn continues to be on the receiving end of budget cuts by the State and AAUP members continue being prime targets for concessions. I would like the President to inform us how his vision for the University has changed on the basis of the past two years realities. We, as AAUP representatives, must continue working hard to address compensation issues, including salary compression and gender or minority status inequities. As member of the Contract Committee, and Chair of the Compensation Sub-Committee I worked with Lyle Scruggs and Jeff Ladewig to develop salary decompression approaches that are now part of the contract negotiations. I will continue contributing and being involved in this critical activity. I will also be involved in the post tenure review discussion should it become an issue again.”
MONICA BOCK: PROFESSOR
DEPARTMENT OF ART & ART HISTORY
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (Spring 2020; 2020-21); Committee W (1998-2001)
University: Provost Library Advisory Committee (2013-2017); Graduate Faculty Council Executive Committee (2010-2013); Graduate Faculty Council (2007-2012); Service-Learning Committee (2001-2002)
Statement: “As a representative of the visual and performing arts faculty, I hope to provide perspective on the extreme challenges of running increasingly complex creative arts facilities and venues with insufficient administrative and technical support staff and crippling operating budget rescissions. As a symptom of austerity politics and the push to monetize faculty productivity, the undervaluing of creative scholarship and practice undermines research and teaching across all disciplines. Resistance and remedy are long overdue in the fight against university exploitation of underpaid, non-union adjunct faculty and part-time academic assistants who are increasingly relied upon to mitigate the impossible service load involved in running underfunded and understaffed departmental programs. In addition, as we enter the second year of the pandemic, I represent my colleagues in calling for adjustments to promotion and tenure expectations that account for the catastrophic impact of Covid19 on arts research and practice across the disciplines.”
LAURA J. BURTON, PROFESSOR
DEPARTMENT HEAD, EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP, NEAG SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
UConn AAUP: Executive Committee (2019 – Present); UConn AAUP: Committee W (Sept. 2018 – Present)
University: Faculty Senate (2019 – Present); Individualized Majors Committee (2012- Present); University Interdisciplinary Courses & Curriculum (2015 – Present), UConn Women’s Center Faculty Advisory Board
Statement: “The COVID crisis has laid bare systemic inequities within higher education broadly and in particular at UConn. Our colleagues, especially those who are primary care givers, on the tenure-track, and adjuncts, among others, have and will continue to be disproportionately impacted by these inequities. 1 – The UConn-AAUP must continue to advocate for structural changes (i.e., PTR processes, merit allocation, leadership development) to university polices/procedures so we can support our members who are (and will continue to be) most impact by the COVID crisis. 2- Continue the work of educating the State of CT and Legislature about UConn’s excellence in teaching and research and the value we bring to all residents of the state. This will be critically important during a time of fiscal restraint in CT. 3 – Work with the University to support efforts to increase the diversity of our faculty (gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.), recognize the challenges our faculty from underrepresented groups face, develop more inclusive policies and practices, and work together to best support those faculty and enhance the mission and vision of UConn.”
JOSEPH CRIVELLO: PROFESSOR
PHYSIOLOGY & NEUROBIOLOGY
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee Member (2017-2021), Member of the Contract Committee (2015-2016, 2019-present).
University: Premedical Advisor (1995-2018), CLAS Committee on Committees (1996-1998), Departmental Affirmative Action Officer (1996-2000), Graduate Research Council (1996-2000), Biotechnology Advisory Committee (2000-2005), Special Program in Medicine Selection Committee (2001-2018), Nutmeg Selection Committee (2005-present), Day of Pride Selection Committee (2005-present), Scholastic Standards Committee (2011-present, Chair 2019-2020), CLAS Dean’s Advisory Council (2012-2014), Growth and Development Committee (2013-2016), Honors Board (2014-present), University Classroom Committee (2014-2018), Grad Faculty Council (2016-present), Director Biological Sciences (2018-present).
Statement: “As a member of the UConn-AAUP executive committee for the past six years, and a member of the contract committee, I have had a chance to see the scope and diligence by which the UConn-AAUP tries to protect and promote its members. Given the recent change in the University President and Provost, this is a critical time for the UConn-AAUP to act as the voice of the faculty and ensure that the University works with us to maintain the benefits we have gained for all faculty. I feel confident that the UConn-AAUP will continue to help faculty weather through economic downturns and budget reductions, and I would like to continue aiding in that effort by being re-elected to the UConn-AAUP Executive Committee.”
MARIA LUZ FERNANDEZ: PROFESSOR
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (appointed 2013, 2020, elected 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018)
University: University Senate (2012-2018 and 2019-2022); Executive Committee: Fall 2015; Chair Senate Diversity Committee (2012-2015 and 2016-2018); Senate Nominating Committee (2012-2013, Chair 2017-2018); Faculty Review Board (2008-2011, Chair 2011); Graduate Council (2000-2019); Diversity Strategic Planning Committee (2013-2014); Advisory Board, Vice Provost for Diversity (2012-2014); University Diversity Council (2016-2020). Provost Commission on the Status of Women (2008-2010); Provost Commission on Institutional Diversity (2011-2013); Something’s Happening Committee, representing AAUP (2013-2015 and 2018-2020); AAUP Nominating Committee (2013-2014, Chair 2014 and 2015); Faculty Salary Equity Steering Committee (Co-Chair of Retention Subgroup, 2020-2021) Representative to the BOT Diversity and Inclusion Committee (2020-2021) CAHNR: CANHR Faculty Council (Chair 2010-2014); CAHNR PTR (2006-2007 and 2008-2009, Chair 2006, 2009, 2015, 2016 and 2017); Dept. Nutritional Sciences: Graduate Program Coordinator, (2000-2019); Departmental PTR (multiple times between 1997-2013, Chair 2006 and 2012, 2018, 2019, 2020); Departmental Merit Committee (multiple times between 1997-2013, Chair 2004, 2005, 2007 2009, 2013, 2017,2020)
Statement: “AAUP should be involved in increasing our membership by providing information in a timely manner to newly hired faculty and to non-members in our respective units; An important commitment from AAUP should be to take a leading role in salary equity across all faculty with a specific focus on the existing inequities based on gender and under-represented status; In addition, access to the assessment and recommendations from the Faculty Steering Committee, through transparent process, should be available to all faculty. AAUP should also support the efforts from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion by actively participating in the hiring and retention of under-represented faculty in the coming year. Support should continue to faculty who have been particularly affected by the Pandemics in relation to their research programs, their tenure clock or their teaching obligations.”
FAQUIR C. JAIN: PROFESSOR
ELECTRICAL & COMPUTER ENGINEERING, and BME
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (2017-p), 2009-14, 2002-08; Contract Negotiating Committee (2001-02); Vice President (2012-13); UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards Committee, Chair (2010-present).
University: Senate Growth & Development Committee, Chair (2013-2015), member (2015-p; Senate Faculty Standards Committee, Chair (2001-02).
Statement: “AAUP’s role in AY2021-22 is critical as contract negotiations will be underway. President Thomas Katsouleas and leadership of Governor Lamont offers opportunities for UConn to foster economic growth in Connecticut.
Statement: “We must continue to safeguard the interest of the members, as well as other colleagues. We should ensure avoiding layoffs. In addition, we need to continue excellence via increased undergraduate and graduate student scholarships and support for the teaching and research infrastructures matching it to enrollment. We need to move UConn to the next level in national rankings, as well as aiding in job growth for our State. AAUP strives to safeguard the interest of all full-time and part-time members in FY 2022 while negotiating the contract.”
JEAN MCCARTHY: CLINICAL PROFESSOR
SPEECH, LANGUAGE AND HEARING SCIENCES
UConn-AAUP: Representatives Assembly (2016-18), Executive Committee (2017-19), Constitution Committee (2018 –19), Contract Committee (2019), Contract Negotiating Team (2020 –present).
University: Member, Selection Committee, Vice Provost for Faculty and Staff Affairs & Development, (2020), Member, Committee for revision of Non-tenure Track Promotion and Reappointment procedures (2019-20), Member, Committee for Interprofessional Excellence in Healthcare (CIPEH) (2016-present)
Statement: “The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires on 06/30/2021 and I am presently serving on AAUP’s Contract Negotiating Team. This privilege is informed by my past membership in both AAUP’s Representatives Assembly and Executive Committee. In these roles I promoted and supported chapter membership especially after the 2018 Janus decision. I will continue to prioritize membership if elected to the Executive Committee. Personally connecting with members of the bargaining unit is imperative and we negotiate with member priorities driving proposals. Integrating President Katsouleas’ vision and Provost Lejuez’s priorities with the critical concerns of bargaining unit members strengthens UCONN’s position for appropriation dollars in this legislature. Communication and respect between University administration and AAUP bargaining unit members is the best way forward.”
MICHAEL E. MORRELL: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (2017-19, 2020 to present); Representative Assembly (2015-18); AAUP Excellence Awards Committee (2009-10; 2011-13; 2014-17).
University: University Budget Committee (2018 to present); University Senate (2020 to present); General Education Oversight Committee (GEOC) (Member/Content Area 2 Subcommittee Co-Chair 2016-2019); DeltaGE Committee (2017-2018); University Ad Hoc Textbook Committee (2005-06); UConn Coop Task Force on Textbook Prices (2004-05)
Statement: “In the coming academic year we are continue to face many challenges, many of which the pandemic has only exacerbated. I have served on several important committees (University Senate, University Budget, AAUP Executive, GEOC), and I would be honored to serve again as a member of the AAUP Executive Committee. State revenue has been much better despite dire predictions last spring, and yet despite this, and with the maximum legal allowable amount in the state’s ‘Rainy Day Fund,’ we continue to hear that we must cut budgets and forgo any raises for two years. We know that a significant part of this relates to past failures by the state to make required contributions for future retirement benefits, but a good portion of it results from current decisions. The faculty and the AAUP have always been willing to work with the administration and state to help in tough budget times, but we are at the point where current faculty and students should not bear the brunt of the burden of poor decisions, past and present.”
FATMA SELAMPINAR: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN RESIDENCE
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (elected 2020-2021), Relief Fund Committee (2020)
University: CLAS Courses & Curriculum Committee (2017 – present), GEOC Q- Committee Co-Chair (2013-2017), ECE Chemistry Coordinator (2007 – present), Q Center Advisory Board member (2012- present), Delta GenEd member (2019- present), Something’s Happening (2021-)
Statement: “As a non-tenured faculty member who has been teaching more than 17 years, I believe there has been a big improvement in the condition of teaching faculty. However, I believe UCONN AAUP can leverage better conditions that will be conducive to a beneficial and cooperative learning environment. As the number of students matriculated increases, more must be done in order to provide a better education for students, the main function of a university. It should also be a priority to create an environment that minimizes the difficulties experienced by underrepresented faculty members. One of our main objectives should be to foster an inclusive and diverse environment by taking action against inequities that result from conscious and unconscious biases. Certain factors in the faculty review process predispose them to prejudice that reduces the quality of teaching while supporting the growth of grade inflation. While monitoring the quality of teaching provided by faculty, we should be able to maintain proper job security as well as recognize achievements adequately. As an educator I believe our top goal should be to increase the quality of the education while also improving critical thinking skills that have applications beyond the classroom.”
INGRID SEMAAN: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN RESIDENCE
SOCIOLOGY / STAMFORD
UConn AAUP: Member of the Representatives Assembly, 2018-present; Equity subcommittee, 2019-2020; Committee W, 2019-2020; Non-Tenure Track PTR sub-committee of UConn-AAUP contract committee, 2019-2021
University: Stamford Faculty Council (elected position), 2020; UConn-Stamford Coordinators Committee, Member, 2006-present; UConn-Stamford Director’s Advisory Committee, Member, 2011-2015; 2017-2019; Steering Committee for the UConn-Stamford Human Rights Conference and Lecture Series, Member, 2014–2017; UConn-Stamford Quality of Student Life Subcommittee Co-Convener, 2014-2015; University Interdisciplinary Courses Committee, 2009-2011; Provost’s Commission on the Status of Women, 2006-2010; UConn Metanoia Planning Committee, 2010
Statement: “The UConn-AAUP should work to build an inclusive and just academic environment. To those ends, it should prioritize race and gender equity in hiring, salary, and advancement; shared governance among all stakeholders; and investment in faculty and underfunded academic programs. It should also focus on job security, higher salaries, improved working conditions, and sabbaticals for non-tenure-track faculty. Many of these goals have been undermined—especially during the pandemic—by increasing workloads, a lack of work/life balance, and increasing top-down decision-making by the university’s upper administration. Other areas of concern are stronger paid family leave policies (and their consistent and equitable implementation across schools and for all bargaining unit members) and the safety of faculty on campuses and in classrooms during the pandemic. Together, we can build a model of what a public university should represent and how it should treat those on whom it depends.”