Important: Election of National AAUP Leaders


You should have received your ballot for the national AAUP elections.  Ballots are sent to home addresses.

Recent weeks have brought heated exchanges between the current leadership, under the Organizing-for-Change Slate, headed by Rudy Fichtenbaum, and the Unity Slate headed by challenger Jane Buck. The platforms and exchanges can be viewed by clicking on the links in this paragraph.

The ballots are not organized by slate. The following show you how to mark your ballot once you have decided on a slate:

More information is available at 2014 Election Information | AAUP. Exercise Your Right to Vote! Help us get out the vote for Colorado! Ballots must be sent in time to arrive by April 15.

In the comments below this entry, we would like to provide a forum for our regional members to discuss the candidates in this important election. Please identify yourself and your chapter.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Important: Election of National AAUP Leaders

  1. Dimitris Stevis

    Dear Colleagues:

    Our work, like that of other professions, has changed over the years. Many of us are precarious workers – non-tenure track faculty, graduate students, research associates, and so on. This is a result of the casualization of work which is a direct product of the privatization of public education.

    It seems to me that, as a consequence, one of the most important elements of our work – academic freedom- has been undermined. That does not mean that we should abandon it – without it most of us would not be here. It does mean, however, that we need to devise ways to preserve and advance academic freedom AND improve the quality of life of everyone who is laboring to educate – whether in Junior Colleges or four year colleges. Stated differently, academic freedom depends on people who feel secure to express themselves.

    Academic freedom has not been the product of some transcendental idea. It was the result of the ability of highly skilled people to control their universities and the educational industry. That capacity has declined – at least in most of public education. In order for us to start rebuilding capacity we need, more than anything, more collective representation. Around such a core we can build more advocacy linkages across colleges and universities and across categories of educators. Without that core we will continue to decline as a profession serving public education, further compromising academic freedom. For these reasons, and based on my reading of the campaign material, I support Rudy Fichtenbaum and the Organizing-for-Change slate.

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

    Dimitris

  2. Steve Mumme

    The issue here is change in financing priorities that tilts toward the Collective Bargaining Congress. There are good arguments pro and con at the national level. The question is how it affects the Advocacy conferences, those that comprise the Association of States Conferences (ASC). And this is more complicated than it looks. Right now, for example, we are getting less money–I estimate maybe 300-500 dollars–from ASC as a Conference Support Grant since it has less money owing to recent policy change. On the other hand, we have received unprecedented support and attention from national in terms of publicizing and supporting our issues. Rudy Fichtenbaum actually testified in favor of HB14-1154 and that is worth way more than a CSG. Howard Bunsis came out in December. Scott Clifthorne has traveled out twice and will soon be back again-with Rudy-to help out with various issues ranging from Randy’s bill, to CSU Pueblo, and Fort Lewis College. When we stood up for Patti Adler the national organization immediately came out in support. So when it comes to actual material support from AAUP national we have benefitted considerably from Rudy’s administration.

    My own sense is that we have been fortunate to have a leadership, past and present, that is so talented and committed to AAUP’s mission. Cary Nelson has been a formidable intellectual force for AAUP as has Jane Buck. On the other hand, as financially strapped as national has been it makes sense to try a different tact in building AAUP as a national organization. While I agree wholeheartedly with Donna Potts about the need for ASC financial support, and funding the Governance unit, I think we should give the new changes a chance to go forward for a 2-4 year period and see where they may lead. What Rudy and Howard Bunsis (CBC) are doing is implementing a more targeted support strategy for the ASC conferences, and that may well be a judicious strategy for producing results in membership and policy advocacy. What I am sure of is that Colorado Conference has gained visibility and respect in the last year.

  3. Jane Fraser

    Things have been so bad at CSU-Pueblo, we have made news at some national blogs. Without airing all the bad news again, I am writing simply to state my support for Rudy Fichtenbaum and the Organizing-for-Change slate. Rudy and Scott Clifthorne have been very helpful to us. Scott’s organizing knowledge and strategies are wonderful. Jane Fraser

  4. rmcconnellatcsu

    I would like to question some of the statements sent by email by the so-called Unity Slate, which is running against current administration, the Organizing-for-Change slate, headed by Rudy Fichtenbaum. Their statements do not mesh with our experience. Here is an example:

    “The current AAUP leadership has sought to divide the Association
    against itself, creating a false dichotomy between the unionized
    and advocacy (nonunionized) chapters – to the detriment of the
    latter – and abandoning at-large members.”

    We have only advocacy chapters in Colorado, yet we have enjoyed enormous support from the current administration.

    – They have been here multiple times on behalf of CSU-Pueblo
    – Rudy Fichtenbaum testified before our Colorado House State, Veterans,
    and Military Affiars Committee, legislature on behalf of HB-14-1154,
    which was drafted largely by members of our state chapters, especially
    at our community colleges, and sponsored by Randy Fisher and John
    Kefalas. The bill, which was in danger of being killed in that committee,
    was forwarded by a vote of 7 to 4 on the same day to the Appropriations
    Committee, where it is being considered.
    – They have helped publicize the Patti Adler case at C.U., which
    resulted in university administration reversing itself
    – Fichtenbaum came to CSU this month to hold a workshop on how
    to get access to data about university budgets, and to tell us
    about what is happening with the CSU budget
    – They sent Howard Bunsis from the CBC to Boulder in December to
    give an analysis of the budgets of our Colorado universities,
    and to show us how to find the data needed to analyze claims by
    administrators.

    Howard’s advocacy and research has been extensively reported on in national media.

    The Unity Slate has claimed that this administration’s field organizers have been roundly unsuccessful to date. This is counter to our experience
    with the Norwest Regional Organizer, Scott Clifthorne, who has helped
    organize dramatic increases in membership in Pueblo and at Fort Lewis.
    Scott recently came to Fort Collins to help us kick off a membership drive.
    In my opinion, his workshop was just what we needed to answer our questions about how to get a drive underway, and how best to approach faculty.

    Because the so-called Unity Slate’s claims are so divisive, I am distrustful
    of them. A spirited debate about the future of the organization is healthy, but we should not lose sight of the fact that we must remain unified.

    In any case, if the national office is to continue to have the influence and budget that supports its continued advocacy, we must pay attention to trends in our membership levels. I have voted for the Organizing-for-Change slate.

    The above blog entry shows how to mark your ballot for either of the slates. (The ballot is not organized by slate.) Ballots must be in by April 15. Let’s show that we can get out the vote here in Colorado!! Locate your ballot and send it in! Ask your friends if they have done the same.

    – Ross McConnell, Computer Science Department, CSU Fort Collins

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