2022-2023 UConn-AAUP Executive Committee Election Bios & Statements
JEFFREY O. G. OGBAR: PROFESSOR
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee Member 2015-2017, 2020-2022- 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 (2019-20); 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: “It has been an honor to serve as Executive Vice President for our union over the past two years. Working closely with the AAUP President, Executive Director, and Executive Committee has been rewarding in many ways. We are all keenly aware that the Covid-19 pandemic, with its many uncertainties and disruptions, has been challenging. Advocating for our faculty through these times, negotiating for our collective professional needs, while contributing to discussions on community health has underscored the importance of our union and effective leadership. The AAUP has secured MOAs on tenure clock stoppage, vaccine mandates, safe working conditions, and other critical issues. We have continued to advocate for members, winning important arbitration cases. We remain engaged in negotiations for much needed salary increases and other contractual needs. And, of course, we continue to update our membership during this process with virtual town hall meetings and newsletters.”
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
JEAN MCCARTHY: CLINICAL PROFESSOR
SPEECH, LANGUAGE AND HEARING SCIENCES
UConn-AAUP: Representatives Assembly (2016-18), Executive Committee (2017-present), Constitution Committee (2018 –19), Contract Committee (2019), Contract Negotiating Team (2020 –present), Chair, AAUP Executive Committee Nominating Committee (2021-2022)
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 protection and rights afforded each bargaining unit member by the Collective Bargaining Agreement was trumpeted again this year when two highly visible arbitration awards were given. The AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement is the cornerstone to working effectively and exceeding student expectations, research requirements and service to our state, national and international communities. The CBA supports our endeavors. As a member of the AAUP Contract Negotiating Team I stand in solidarity with all bargaining unit members no matter their job title. As Executive Vice President I will continue to prioritize AAUP national and chapter membership. Touting the strength and stability of the UCONN Chapter of AAUP will be the hallmark of my service.”
VICE PRESIDENT/MEMBERSHIP & ORGANIZING
LOUISE SIMMONS: PROFESSOR
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK / HARTFORD
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee – elected 2018-2022; Vice President for Organizing and Membership Development (2020-22)
University: Dean’s PTR Advisory Committee, School of Social Work (2006-present); Social Welfare Policy Study Group, mid-1990s; Hartford Regional Campus Service Learning Advisory Committee, Member from 1990s to 2012, Chairperson, 2010; Public Engagement Forum, 2012-2015 ·Member; Service Learning Committee, now part of the Provost’s Public Engagement Forum and earlier Service Learning Council, from 1990s to mid-2010s; Member, University Diversity Oversight Committee, 2002-2003.
Statement: “We need a strong AAUP chapter now more than any time since I have been a member since 1981. We need to continue to negotiate and advocate for the rights of our faculty – tenure track and non-tenure track. We need to be able to support our diverse student body and their welfare. We are a force for academic freedom and meaningful higher education. We also need to ensure that those non-tenure track faculty are treated fairly. To preserve our collective bargaining rights, we need an active and informed membership. We have very important work to do and I hope to be a part of making this happen.”
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, 2021-22), Recruitment Committee (2015-), Treasurer (2016-19, 2020-2022), Grievance Committee 2020-22)
University: Faculty Salary Equity Steering Committee (2020-2022), 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 modes of 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 course delivery, diversity, and governance. 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 (2017-22), Constitution Committee (2018-19, 2019-20), Contract Action Team (2020-21), Contract Negotiating Team (2021-22, Alternate in 2020-21).
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), University Planning Committee (2021-22).
Statement: “UConn-AAUP, irrespective of forces in play that are beyond its immediate control, must faithfully discharge its fiduciary responsibility of securing a fair and equitable compensation package for its members and defending the rights its members have under the collective bargaining agreement and the university by-laws. Unfortunately, the Department of Human Resources has become noticeably more hostile to collective bargaining over the last few years and the upper echelons of UConn Administration have done next to nothing to stop that shift. While UConn-AAUP remains fully committed to the cause of sustaining long term development of the institution, the extraordinarily high turnover in administrative ranks is often hindering that cause. In this atmosphere, if elected to the Executive Committee I will tirelessly work to organize our members so that they remain engaged in the decision-making process at every level – department, college, campus, and the university as a whole.”
JESSICA D. AGUIRRE: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN RESIDENCE
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee Member (2020-present), EHS Committee Member (2020-present)
University: University Interdisciplinary Courses Committee (2018-2021); 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.”
MONICA BOCK: PROFESSOR
DEPARTMENT OF ART & ART HISTORY
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (Spring 2020; 2020-21, 2021-22); 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 emerge from a two-year pandemic, I represent my colleagues in calling for a just conclusion to contract negotiations for all bargaining units, as well as adjustments to promotion, tenure and merit expectations that account for the catastrophic impact of Covid19 on arts research and practice in particular.”
MOLIKA CHEA: LECTURER
University: Board Member, Academic Integrity Hearing Board, Office of Community Standards (2018 – present); UConn First Generation (2020-Present)
College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources (CAHNR) Service: CAHNR One Health Implementation Committee (2021-Present); CAHNR Sustainability Implementation Committee (2021); Volunteer, Undergraduate Commencement (2019).
Department of Nutritional Sciences: Public Health and Community Nutrition Strategic Planning Group (2021 – Present); Clinical, Integrative, and Functional Nutrition Strategic Planning Group (2021 – Present); Merit Advisory Committee (2021); Undergraduate Committee (2018 – Present); Dietetics Advisory Committee (2019 – Present)
Statement: “A top priority is addressing fair compensation for merit and salary raises, especially the past two years when faculty was requested by the university administration to complete more tasks to accommodate student needs during the pandemic. The AAUP should also prioritize addressing the health and well-being of faculty. Work-life balance remains a challenge with many faculty having to adjust teaching modality and research based on the status of the pandemic while balancing family and home responsibilities. The AAUP can collaborate with university administration to provide more resources and meetings on achieving work-life balance that improves both mental and physical health. These priorities addressed by the AAUP can help the university experience positive growth in teaching, research, and service by faculty members.”
JOSEPH CRIVELLO: PROFESSOR
PHYSIOLOGY & NEUROBIOLOGY
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee Member (2017-2022), Member of the Contract Committee (2015-2016, 2019).
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 rapid turnover 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.”
MANISHA DESAI: DEPARTMENT HEAD & PROFESSOR
SOCIOLOGY AND ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES
UConn AAUP: Executive Committee (elected 2019-2020, appointed Sp. 2022) Member, AAUP W Committee 2015-present
University: Senate, 2009-2016; Chair, Senate Diversity Committee 2015-2016.
Statement: “The COVID Crisis underscores the importance of focusing on faculty wellbeing, that includes salary raises, support for research and teaching, including class sizes and TA support, and ongoing issues of equity and justice.”
MARY GALLUCCI: ADJUNCT FACULTY
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (2014-2018, 2019-2020; Committee W (2016-2017); Nominating Committee ((2015-17); Subcommittee on Academic Freedom, 2015
University: Committee on Adjunct Faculty, English Department, 2017-2020, 2021-present; Task Force on Adjunct Faculty, English Department, 2015-2017
Statement: “The UConn–AAUP continues to face the challenges of declining state budgets; privatization; rising tuition; threats to tenure; and increased reliance on non-tenured/non-tenure-track teaching staff. These challenges are best faced by strong and diverse faculty governance. The UConn-AAUP will need to confront employment issues related to precarity and the gig economy in a pro-active manner in order to ensure an optimal teaching and research climate. Ongoing efforts to foster a more diverse faculty must remain a focus of the UConn-AAUP’s advocacy.
If elected to the Executive Board of the UConn-AAUP, I would like to continue the crucial work of the AAUP in shared governance, particularly as it is extended to contingent faculty (see the AAUP position on The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments http://www.aaup.org/report/governance-inclusion#note19 ).”
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,
University: Senate Growth & Development Committee, Chair (2013-2015), member (2015-2019;
Senate Faculty Standards Committee, Chair (2001-02).
Statement: “AAUP’s role in AY2022-23 is critical as contract negotiations are underway.
President Radenka Maric offers unprecedented opportunities for UConn to foster economic growth in Connecticut. We must continue to safeguard the interest of the members, as well as other colleagues. In addition, we need to continue excellence via increased undergraduate and graduate student scholarships and support for the teaching and research infrastructures. We need to move UConn to the next level in national rankings, as well as aiding in job growth for our State. AAUP must strive to safeguard the interest of all full-time and part-time members in FY 2023 while negotiating the contract.”
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 Senate (2020 to present); University Student Welfare Committee (2021 to present); University Budget Committee (2018 to 2021); 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 will hopefully be working under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for which we have worked hard that will benefit our members, students, and the University. We must continue to make state officials aware of the value that UConn AAUP members bring to Connecticut, stress the importance to the administration and Board of Trustees of moves that can help repair relationships with our members, and enhance the lives of all, but most especially, our vulnerable members. Among our numerous priorities, I count ongoing efforts to address salary inequity, compression, and inversion; resistance to multiple wasteful and unnecessary post-tenure review processes; and budgets that involve prioritizing optional initiatives while imposing cuts to core academic programs that are hollowing many of them out.”
FATMA SELAMPINAR: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN RESIDENCE
UConn-AAUP: Executive Committee (elected 2020-2022), 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 18 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 an 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: Executive Committee (2021-present), Representatives Assembly (2018-2021), Equity subcommittee (2019-2020), Committee W (2019-2020), Non-Tenure Track PTR sub-committee of UConn-AAUP contract committee (2019-2021)
University: UConn-Stamford Coordinators Committee (2006-present), UConn-Stamford Director Search Committee (2021-present), Stamford Faculty Council (2020), UConn-Stamford Director’s Advisory Committee (2011-2015, 2017-2019) Steering Committee for the UConn-Stamford Human Rights Conference and Lecture Series (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; investment in faculty and underfunded academic departments and programs; and stronger paid family leave policies (as well as their consistent and equitable implementation across schools and for all bargaining unit members). 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. Together, we can build a model of what a public university should represent and how it should treat those on whom it depends.”
CHRIS VIALS: Professor
UConn AAUP: Chair of the Contract Committee (2019-2020); Executive Committee (2012-2015, 2018-20); Contract Bargaining Team (2015-2016); English Department Rep (2016-2017); Search Committee for Associate Director and Executive Director of the AAUP (2014).
University: Director of American Studies (2015-present); Working Group for the Non-Departmentalized Units (NDOU) (2021-present); Co-Chair, CLAS Native American and Indigenous Studies Cluster Hiring Committee (2019-2020); Co-Chair, Metanoia Planning Committee (2019)
Statement: “Hopefully, with the proposed ‘Escape Room,’ we will no longer be in negotiations next academic year. But even if not, the next academic year will still present many challenges for the AAUP and its members. We will be negotiating with the unknown variables of a new President, a largely turned-over administrative leadership, and what looks to still be a challenging budgetary environment in the state. We will also need to fine-tune our structures to assure more participation in the Representative Assembly, which may mean augmenting its powers.”
“We will need experienced union leadership to meet these challenges, and one capable of imagining a university outside bankrupt, neoliberal frames. I know the AAUP contract and its history quite well from my previous service as Chair of the Contract Committee and as a former member of the Negotiating Team. I was heavily engaged in the ongoing round of negotiations as Chair of the Contract Committee; in this role, I coordinated seven subcommittees that crafted proposals for our negotiating team based on the feedback they received from the membership through the bargaining survey and other channels. I would be honored to continue serving as a member of the Executive Committee as well, and would work to ensure seamless communication between that body, the Representative Assembly, and the membership at large. Over the next year, I would like to devote more time to improving the feedback loop between the membership and leadership, trying to ensure that members’ concerns are adequately reflected in the union’s evolving negotiations and to activate our membership in AAUP-related campaigns.”