UConn-AAUP Update: March 24, 2023
Save the Date
Chapter Membership Meeting (Members Only)
April 26, 2023, 12:00 Noon, Student Union Rm 330
UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards Ceremony – Virtual – April 24, 2023,
12 noon, via ZOOM
In this Issue:
- Legislative Update
- SB 1153 – Amendment to the FIOA act
Meetings with Legislative Leaders: UConn-AAUP’s elected leaders and members have been meeting with Co-Chairs and Ranking Members of the Appropriations Committee during the month of March. The meetings have centered around introducing legislators to the type of research and teaching that members in their districts are engaged in as a potential resource. UConn-AAUP will continue to set up meetings with other legislative leaders and reach out to faculty in their districts to participate in these meetings. If called upon, we encourage your participation in these very important meetings.
Appropriations Committee Testimony: On February 15, 2023, President Jeffrey Ogbar, Treasurer Oskar Harmon, and Vice President of Organizing Louise Simmons
SB 1153 An Act Establishing an Exception for Certain Records Pertaining to Research or Teaching Under the Freedom of Information Act
UConn-AAUP supports open records laws that encourage government transparency and allow for the general public to access copies of administrative records. When those open records requests are abused and used as a weapon to harass and interfere with faculty research, teaching, and scholarship, or used to threaten or chill faculty from their right to academic freedom and unfettered reporting of research, we must rely on open records laws to protect faculty. SB 1153 provides the tools necessary for the UConn administration to deny the release of public documents that are only intended to harass and interfere with faculty research and the dissemination of that research.
On March 6, 2023, several faculty from the Storrs and Law School campuses testified before the Government Administration and Election Committee (GAE) on SB 1153. One of those faculty members was Alexis Dudden, History, who has had to respond to information requests intended only to harass and intimidate her and requiring the University to post police outside her classroom on the UConn campus. During four out of the past five years, Professor Dudden has had to take time out of her teaching and scholarship to respond to the same FOIA requests for information, even after her research and scholarship have been published and vetted for accuracy.
SB 1153 will provide the University with the tools necessary to deny the requests for information and allow Professor Duddin, and other faculty subjected to this kind of harassment, to continue their teaching and research without unnecessary interference. In speaking to legislators, please advocate for passage of Bill 1153.
Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar
UConn-AAUP Executive Director
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