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AAUP Centennial Edition of Academe

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Dear Colleague,

The AAUP has reached its centennial year—a major achievement in the life cycle of a professional organization. Since its founding in 1915, the Association has sought to advance the core principles and values of the academic profession and to shape its governing standards and practices, with the goal of ensuring higher education’s contribution to the common good. While promoting, with remarkable success, the adoption of its recommended principles and standards, the Association has also monitored institutional compliance with them, investigated abuses, and published reports of its investigations.

I was privileged to take part in this work by serving for thirty-one years as a senior program officer in the AAUP’s Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Governance. A historian by training (I currently hold an appointment as an adjunct professor of history at George Mason University), I was pleased to be asked to take on the task of editing a special issue of Academe commemorating the AAUP’s first hundred years.

What accounts for the persistent vitality of the AAUP’s founding principles and their continuing relevance to American higher education? Despite periods of relative inactivity, the Association has remained responsive to changes in the academic environment and in the nature of the professoriate. As a result, it has regularly developed new policies and standards to help the academic community confront the recurring threats to those core principles.

The articles in this centennial issue of Academe commemorate the AAUP’s admirable past. They describe some of the key areas—and ways—in which the AAUP has advanced standards for the academic profession.

Robert O’Neil’s opening article demonstrates the major role the AAUP has played in shaping the law of higher education.
Debra Nails describes the AAUP’s procedures for academic freedom and tenure investigations.
Jordan Kurland’s companion article comments on the most noteworthy investigations over the decades.
Ann Franke provides an overview of the AAUP’s century-long role in upholding and protecting the principles of academic freedom and tenure.
Larry Gerber’s article shows how the Association’s standards in the area of college and university government have established widely accepted norms of shared governance.
Ernst Benjamin recounts the AAUP’s initial embrace of and evolving emphasis on collective bargaining as a means of achieving the Association’s goals.
Finally, Mary Gray discusses the role played by the AAUP’s Committee on Women in the Academic Profession in developing policies relating to the status of academic women and in advancing the principles of equity and the rights of women faculty.
Periodically throughout its history, the AAUP has adjusted to financial and organizational challenges and weathered internal controversies. What lies ahead? As Franke concludes, “The continuing integrity of the Association’s positions and processes undergirds its moral authority. Only through even-handed application of its core principles will the Association retain its legitimate authority and advance its mission.” Here’s hoping that the AAUP will flourish in its second century and remain faithful to its core principles, thereby maintaining its well-deserved reputation as the authoritative voice of the academic profession.

— B. Robert Kreiser, Academe Guest Editor
brkreiser@gmail.com

Governor Malloy’s Second Round of Budget Cuts

Second Round of CT Budget Cuts
From CT News Junkie 01-20-15
by Christine Stuart

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will be forced to order a second round of budget rescissions because his budget office Tuesday projected a nearly $121 million deficit for fiscal year 2015.

Malloy ordered $54.6 million in rescissions in November, but declining revenues and a $120 million deficiency in the Medicaid account has increased the budget deficit by $89.3 million since last month.

“We will announce additional rescissions in the very near future, and additional actions may be required to address the projected change in operating balance,” Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes said Tuesday in his monthly letter to state Comptroller Kevin Lembo.

Revenues have declined $39.3 million since last month and spending is running $22.8 million above the budget. The biggest deficiency on the spending side is in the Medicaid account.

“A net Medicaid shortfall of $120 million is projected due to increased enrollment, difficulties in achieving the full savings levels incorporated in the budget for the medication administration and step therapy initiatives, additional hospital cost settlements, and revisions to the federal cost share for a small percentage of Medicaid clients who will be reimbursed at 50 percent as opposed to the originally anticipated 100 percent level,” Barnes wrote.

The $121 million budget deficit doesn’t reach the threshold required for Malloy to submit a deficit mitigation plan to the General Assembly. However, that possibility is getting closer.

Sen. Republican leader Len Fasano has been calling on Malloy to meet with Republican lawmakers to allow them to help cut the budget.

Malloy can rescind up to 5 percent of any line item and 3 percent of any fund on his own without seeking legislative approval.

“This was a problem yesterday, and it is an even bigger problem today,” Fasano said Tuesday. “I just don’t get it. Is there simply an inability to talk to Republicans? Every day that goes by without bipartisan action is a step in the wrong direction.”

Fasano said he’s frustrated by the governor’s decision to act unilaterally as the budget situation deteriorates.

“When it comes to state finances, everyone is disheartened by the perpetual bad news. So let’s work together to fix the problem here and now,” Fasano said Tuesday.

But even after finding a way to resolve the new $121 million deficit, Malloy still faces a $1.3 billion deficit in 2016 and a $1.5 billion in 2017. He plans on releasing a two-year budget that will close both of those deficits on Feb. 18.

Welcome to UConn-AAUP

The University of Connecticut Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), welcomes you as a new faculty/research member of UConn. The AAUP is a national professional organization and the UConn Chapter is certified as the collective bargaining agent for the University of Connecticut’s teaching and research staff. In addition to negotiating a series of commensurate compensation packages, the UConn AAUP has a strong tradition of safeguarding the principles of shared governance within the University and promoting UConn’s unique role as the flagship research university at the State Capitol.

Connecticut State Statute requires all individuals, as designated by their work titles, to be represented by a bargaining agent to which they pay dues. The current dues/fee rate is 0.009 of annual salary and is automatically deducted from your biweekly paychecks.

The current collective bargaining contract may be found on the UConn AAUP website.